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While you’re in India, connecting with a volunteer organisation and making a contribution towards the betterment of society can be an enlightening experience. Wondering where to start? Here is a list of some organisations in India that offer volunteering opportunities. Read on and find out how you can get started.
Located in the Paharganj area of New Delhi, the Salaam Baalak Trust is an organisation that provides food, shelter and support to the homeless street kids of the city. The trust also runs an initiative, called the City Walk Programme, wherein street children are trained to become travel guides. You can volunteer to teach the children, train them in various marketing strategies or participate in the healthcare programme. You can even work in association with the performing arts and help the kids enhance their talent. The trust itself provides low-cost flats to the volunteers. Visit its website to become part of the team.
Based in Udaipur, Seva Mandir works for the development of rural Rajasthan. The organisation works for rural healthcare, education, women’s empowerment and youth development. They run a number of projects where you can contribute as per your skills and interests, like conducting research and workshops, developing modules for training, helping in the daily operations and so on. You can stay at the dormitories and guest houses provided, but you’ll have to make food arrangements for yourself. Application forms for volunteering are available here.
If mountains are your happy place, you must visit Ladakh, the breathtakingly beautiful high-altitude mountain desert. While you’re here, why not be of some use? Be part of Volunteer Ladakh and make your contribution to the sustainable development and education of the area. You can teach monks, children and older people here, and also do your bit for environmental protection. April to September is the best time to volunteer here. A minimal registration fee (for organisational work) is all it takes to get you going.
Located in Kolkata, Human Wave works for community development and runs various healthcare schemes in the state of West Bengal. They even conduct youth projects in the state capital and numerous volunteer programmes in the Sundarbans. You can volunteer for two-week programmes or stay here for three months. To get started, pay a small fee, for accommodation and food. Check out its website here.
This organization is in Auroville, Tamil Nadu, and works for the betterment of the environment and local villagers. Its main aim is to ensure ecological improvement, educate children about the environment and help villagers become self-sufficient by teaching them to cultivate their own food. If you volunteer here, you can closely interact with the villagers. The organisation the exciting experience of living in the forests, and takes care of your food and accommodation, too. Many people stay at Sadhana Forest from across the world.
‘Food for all’ is the motto of the Robin Hood Army. Throughout India, this organisation aims to provide food to everyone, and deals with the problem of food shortage. Wherever you are in the country, you can be a part of the Robin Hood Army. Volunteers are required to take food from restaurants and provide it to the needy at night shelters, homeless families, orphanages and public hospital patients. To join them, visit its website.
Many senior citizens in India do not have anybody to look after them. They do not have a house of their own, healthcare facilities or anybody to talk to. HelpAge India works for their betterment by providing them food, shelter and medical care. The organisation, with support of the state and central government, also fights against elder abuse. You can volunteer at HelpAge India and spend some time every week with elderly people to help them feel a little happy and loved.
With the belief that every child has a right to his/her childhood, CRY has been fighting to provide justice to children for more than three decades. The organisation rescues children who are suffering or who are abused, and works to provide justice to them. They work for a number of issues like child marriage, child trafficking, child labour, poverty, malnutrition, girl child, education and illiteracy. You can be a part of this programme and help save a child’s future.
Are you good at teaching? Teach for India has a number of teaching centres across the country, where you can use your teaching skills and work towards making the future of India educated and informed. To get started, all you need to do is fill a form on its site.
In many parts of India, talking about sex is still taboo. The YP Foundation is attempting to teach children about sexual and reproductive health, gender inequality, abuse and STDs. They have started a programme called Know Your Body, Know Your Rights. There are various initiatives under the programme – you can sign up to volunteer here.