India is a land of myriad moods, varied culture and a heritage so rich that it almost always leaves its visitors enthralled and wanting for more. With its steady pace of industrialization and economic growth, India has witnessed a lot of changes in the past decades and out of which some are good and some are not so good. Lopsided development to a great extent has resulted in the Indian subcontinent facing a lot of challenges like poverty, malnutrition in kids, paucity of proper education, subjugation of women and scarce opportunities of growth for kids living in orphanages. India, thus, needs support and upliftment for the growth of its poor and underprivileged lot. The country has become a volunteering hotspot in the past few years and rightly so. It not only needs quality contribution but also has the right facilities and atmosphere to provide a congenial atmosphere to aspiring volunteers so that they can contribute their for the nation.
Why Volunteer In India?
There are a number of reasons why one should volunteer in India. The increasing population of the country has resulted in a situation where about 17.6% of the total world population resides in India and out of which 20.65% of the world’s poorest people live in this country. The poor of the country suffer from malnutrition, lack access to safe drinking water, basic health facilities and a proper shelter. According to a revised report by the World Bank in May 2014, out of the 872.3 million poor people in the world, 179.6 million poor lived in India. It is because of such state of affairs that the poor of the country need attention, care and access to the basic amenities in life. The Indian Government has taken relevant steps to reach out the poor but a lot still needs to be done and contribution from common people across the world can go a long way in improving the conditions of the underprivileged in the country.
Apart from the poverty that needs to curbed, there is also another big reason why India should be picked as a Volunteering destination. The reason is the varied and vibrant culture of the country. The culture and tradition of the nation is instilled in the poorest of the poor and the people here are very friendly and welcoming.
Volunteers who opt to stay with host families or volunteer houses during their volunteering stint get a taste of the local culture and a very authentic Indian travel experience.
Who Can Volunteer In India?
Gap Year Students, Professionals on a sabbatical, Housewives, Families and University students can opt for volunteering in India. There is a minimum age requirement of 18 years to be able to take up a volunteering project offered by international volunteering organizations. The country is a friendly country that and hosts volunteers from different countries like US, UK Canada, Spain and many others. A lot of Non Resident Indians are also actively taking part in the volunteering programs here. Along with this, a recent revamp in visa policies for Non Resident Indians by the Indian Government, traveling for longer durations in the country has become easier. People who are enthusiastic about India and its culture should also take up volunteering opportunities in the country as it is a very refreshing and a unique way to understand a foreign culture.
Why Is It Advisable to Volunteer Via An International Placement Organization?
Volunteering Organizations specialize in providing volunteering opportunities to people across the world, they also have the required expertise in providing the right kind of accommodation which is safe and comfortable for volunteers coming in from different countries. Arrangements for hygienic food, clean drinking water and other such basic amenities are also made by the organization and hence the volunteer gets to focus on their projects and travel abroad. Another benefit of volunteering through an organization is that the right kind of placement is also made available where the work done by the volunteers is actually needed and makes a difference. To find an appropriate volunteering opportunity along with other arrangements can be a tedious and expensive task for individuals and hence professional help is always recommended.
Different Kind Of Volunteering Opportunities Available In India
There are a lot of volunteering opportunities available such as teaching English to kids, the street children program, women empowerment program, working in an orphanage, medical internships, healthcare programs and projects which are coupled with sightseeing over the weekends. The work in projects involving kids usually includes spending time the kids, designing fun and educative modules for them, catching up and effectively continuing with the work done by previous volunteers and making sure that there is a congenial and nourishing atmosphere for kids who are living in the orphanages. In the women empowerment programs, the volunteers are expected to make a difference in the lives of the subjugated women, teach them some valuable life skills, impart education and contribute in making them employable to make a decent living. The volunteers are advised to keep the cultural sensitivities of India in mind before volunteering with kids and especially women. Medical internship programs which are also popular amongst medical students, include professionally designed internship programs which offer exposure and hands-on training to the participating interns.
What Do You Gain By Volunteering In India?
Volunteering gives you the much needed international exposure, an opportunity to do something meaningful while traveling, develop interpersonal skills and also hone your professional skill set. Volunteer work requires patience, creativity, hard work, sensitivity and adaptability which goes a long way and is helpful in one’s professional and personal life. India being the country of overwhelming diversity gives the volunteers an opportunity to understand the unity in diversity culture of the country. The “Atithi Devo Bhava” concept of Indians which means that guest is god leaves a lasting impact on the volunteers since the hospitality of people in India is truly impeccable.
Traveling in India
From the majestic Himalayan mountains to the sublime Arabian sea, India is blessed with varied and spectacular natural beauty. Home to one of the world’s seven wonders, The Taj Mahal, India has plenty of places to visit that will offer a delightful experience to the volunteer travelers. From Khajuraho Temples, Ghats of Varanasi, Beaches of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mughal and Sultanate Architecture in Delhi, Beautiful Hill Stations of Himachal Pradesh to the fine architectural heritage in Hampi and Mysore – India has plenty on offer for its visitors and should be explored by travel and culture enthusiasts. Volunteering and traveling in India can be a mentally, culturally and spiritually rewarding experience for all volunteers.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Volunteering In India
A few things should be kept in mind before volunteering in the country. Necessary travel and health insurance should be bought so as to be prepared for any unforeseen emergency. Vaccinations are also important before traveling to India since a change in weather or alteration in hygiene standards can affect the travelers. All volunteers should keep extra precaution and consume only bottled water and high quality food to keep any infections at bay. Culture sensitivities should also be kept in mind and one should dress accordingly. Venturing out at night alone is also not advisable in India. All in all, if the necessary precautions are taken, Volunteering in India can be a very fulfilling experience.