India in Southeast Asia is one of the prime volunteer destinations which one should visit at least once in their lifetime. It is a vast country, with about twenty percent of the world’s population, and has a diverse history, culture and landscape. In my 15 years of volunteering across various nations, India has been a country that I’ve returned to thrice. Volunteer programs here offer a lot of opportunities for everyone, no matter what causes you want to support. I love the Indian people, the country’s various subcultures, and its amazing cuisine. Last year I embarked on my third Indian volunteer trip, and it was quite a memorable one too.
As a developing nation, India is a place of contrast. On one hand, you have the India that is achieving new milestones in technology, finances and other yardsticks that are recognized globally. On the other hand, it is a nation with one of the largest poor populations, who live in poverty and lack access to basic necessities like good food, clean water, education and even shelters. As a volunteer, I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of the those in need. I am quite grateful that I have had the opportunities to do so, in India and other neighbouring countries within Southeast Asia.
Anyone Can Contribute to the Benefit of Indian Society
Volunteer travel in India is one of the causes that thousands of individuals from across Europe, North America and other parts of the world participate in. The country of more than 1.2 billion people has ample volunteer project options for everyone. It does not matter if you are a tourist who wants to volunteer, a gap year or exchange student who’s in India or a social worker. You will have an amazing experience as a volunteer there. Besides, finding volunteer programs online is quite easy.
All you need to do is look for the right volunteer organizations before you start on your trip. In case of India, there are quite a few reputed organizations that offer quality programs at very reasonable fees. It is up to you to do your research and find the best one for your needs. Book well ahead of your volunteering trip and you can find good deals on accommodation, food and local travel. All of these are generally included within the volunteer program fees itself.
Spending Some Good Time Helping Little Kids
In my experience, the education of children is one of the causes I felt the most for. There is a high illiteracy rate in rural and semi-urban society, as many children come from poor families and they can not gain admission to the better schools. I was keen to teach English at one of the primary schools at Dharamsala, where my volunteer centre was located. I had signed up with a different volunteer organization this time and enrolled in their teaching project for school kids.
It was great seeing the joy in the children’s faces and to my surprise, all of them were eager to learn whatever I was teaching. I later spoke to one of the program coordinators and learnt that the kids were generally receptive to foreign teachers, and quite excited each time someone visited them.
Volunteer Projects You Can Participate in To Help Kids
There are several other projects to help Indian kids which you can be a part of if English lessons are not your forte. For instance, you can teach them some basic computer skills, spend some time with them during art class, share your experiences and do much more. My program coordinator was quite helpful as was the translator guy.
Due to my prior visits, I do know some Hindi words and phrases that came in handy during my stay. Overall, the staff went out of their way to make us feel at home. In fact, I would say that this visit felt better than my past ones. The program just felt more organized this time. Volunteer work in India has been made easy by the advent of newer, more honest volunteer organizations. What these young men and women (the organizers, coordinators etc.) are doing is admirable. By choosing the right organization, you can be assured that your contributions are being put to good use.
Several Volunteer Projects To Contribute For
As a volunteer, you can participate in projects that contribute to different causes like, women empowerment, renovations, health-care and health awareness, summer camps for children, street children welfare projects and more. You can consult with past volunteers or read online reviews for various programs to make an informed decision.
Indian volunteer programs focus on improving the standard of livings for those in need. To think that many of these people even lack basic amenities that are abundant to us, saddens me a lot. I am convinced that I might want to visit Indian again, just to help out a little more. If you can bring a little joy and contentment to the lives of these unfortunate populations, I urge you to do so. Just a little bit of your time, dedication and effort can brighten their futures and bring a smile to their faces.
Please do share your Indian volunteer experiences with me below. If you have any questions or queries about volunteering in India, I can try to help you out.