Volunteering in India can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experience. You not only get a chance to work at the grass root level and help the deprived communities but also at the same time experience the charm of India. It’s a country like no other with ways of working like no other. One of oldest living civilizations, India is progressing towards been one of superpowers of the 21st century but still holds holding onto its past and Culture.
India is a country of contrasts. It’s the Country, which gave birth to the most number of religions, home to 417 different languages with an Economic growth rate of 8%, 3rd largest growing economy in the world, where the 80% of the development funds gets vanished and 41.6% of the population still lives under the poverty lines. A country where, a women of Catholic origin steps aside for a Sikh be sworn in as the Prime Minister by a Muslim to govern a country with 80% Hindus. A country with 5600 newspapers and 35000 Magazines published in 22 different languages but still has the largest illiterate population of any nation on earth. India has the second largest army in the world but it has never invaded any country in her 10000 year past.
We cannot stress enough on the importance of coming prepared to India both physically and mentally. We try and help our volunteers prepare for India in every way possible through our program guides and orientations upon arrival but we recommend volunteers to educate themselves about India before they start from their home country.
1) Books on India: Start reading as much as possible on India, there is many books written on India. Some are guidebook’s for Backpackers where as some are stories of travel through India. Some of the books we recommend are:
- Culture Shock! India (Culture Shock! A Survival Guide to Customs & Etiquette) By GitanjaliKolanad
- Holy Cow by Sarah Mc Donald
- Travelers’ Tales India: True Stories
2) Past volunteers: Visit our Facebook page and connect with fellow and past volunteers. Post questions, queries and let us or our past volunteers answer them. Its good to ask questions. They would be best source of advice as they have been there and experienced it.
3) Follow our Blog: Register yourself to our blog and follow it regularly, we constantly post updates about India, tips, stories etc. that can come in very handy.
4) Indian news sites: Follow some of the top new sites in India.
This will help you keep updated with the current affairs in India (Which sometimes can be very interesting). An Example
The Boeing 737 stuck in city road :http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6620461.stm