Are you a foreign individual who is keen on visiting India this summer? In that case, you can enroll in a volunteer program. As a volunteer myself, I have felt that the country has a huge unprivileged population, especially in the rural areas. India is one of the most popular volunteer destinations for backpackers, tourists and gap year students and professionals. Every year, millions of individuals come down to Southeast Asia, to participate in various programs. Most of these focus on improving the living standards of the poor and needy masses.
You can help women and children get access to basic amenities like food, water and shelter. Some projects involve spreading basic education for rural children, building or renovating shelters and schools and helping out in extracurricular activities. Other volunteer projects deal with purposes such as women empowerment, computer education, basic healthcare training, skills development and more. If you are interested in contributing as a volunteer in India, there are ample options for you.
Here are some things to keep in mind before your proceed on your Indian volunteering journey.
1. India is culturally more diverse than a lot of other countries and it might take you a little while to get used to the norms there.
2. Apart from volunteering during the weekdays, you can go on sightseeing tours on your weekends there. You should always inform your program coordinator before your trip, due to security reasons.
3. You can also choose add-on tour packages that are offered by the volunteer organizations themselves.
4. Dharamsala in Northern India is one of the most popular volunteer destinations for volunteers. You can look online and find volunteering opportunities in other parts of the country too.
5. Volunteer program coordinators can suggest the best food and accommodation options according to your budget. However, you can choose your own, provided that it is not too far from your volunteer center.
6.Remember that the fees you have paid to an organization include the costs of food, accommodation and transportation. Be wary of any significant extra costs in these aspects as you shouldn’t have to pay more for these amenities.
7. It is crucial to choose only reputed volunteer organizations for a smooth, honest and hassle-free volunteer experience. See what other volunteers are saying online about a particular volunteer program or organization.
8.Program itineraries are pre-planned and most volunteer coordinators provide information beforehand. It is advised that you book your travel and accommodation options beforehand.
9. There are options for you to extend your stay, beyond the specified duration of your chosen volunteer programs. For this, you need to pay on a daily or weekly basis.
10. Stay friendly with the local people and do not dress or behave in a manner that gets you too much attention. Locals can help you prevent getting duped by local transport providers or shop owners.
11. Remember that India is a tropical country and that temperatures might soar well above 30 degrees Celsius at times. Things to carry include water bottles, sun protection, mosquito repellents and basic medication.
12. Take the appropriate vaccinations required for first-time travellers to India. This will help to protect you from the most common diseases and ailments faced by most volunteers. Do ensure that you have taken vaccines for Hepatitis A & B, Yellow fever, Tuberculosis, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Malaria and Rabies.
13. Health-care is available and emergency situations can be handled by volunteer program coordinators. If you are suffering from any chronic illnesses or get sudden attacks or bouts, do inform them beforehand.
14. Some of the key projects that you can participate include –
* Women empowerment
* English lessons
* Basic computer lessons
* Street children welfare
* Renovation projects
* Summer camp activities
15. Learning some basic Hindi words can help you communicate better during your stay, as it is the most widely spoken language in major volunteering locations.
If you are considering coming down to India for volunteering, getting in touch with reputed volunteer India organizations is your best option. You can find all necessary information about program details, schedules and more. Most of these organizations ask volunteers to deposit fees prior to visits. This is done in order the ensure that the travel and transport options are ready when a volunteer touches down in India.
Volunteer While Also Enjoying Indian Culture & History
There are quite a few add-on tour options for volunteers during their stay in India. By participating in these, you can explore the important landmarks and natural beauty of India. You can take trips to locations like the Taj Mahal, go trekking in the picturesque Himalayan mountains, go on an adventure in Manali, visit the historical city of Jaipur, and do more. It can be the experience of a lifetime. So, you can make a marked difference in the lives of Indians, while having an amazing time. Are you interested in volunteering in India? Well, this guest post will be quite helping hand for you.