If your travel can bring a change in people’s lives, there’s no better way of traveling. India is a beautiful land with diverse cultures and various geographical regions but life’s hardships and poverty are tyrannical realities for many here. Volunteer travel in India is an emerging concept that’s letting travelers from all across the world make a difference.
Teach kids, help conserve wildlife, plant trees, empower women by skill development, or choose homestays to enable economic empowerment and make your next trip count.
Volunteer travel – why should you choose it?
Each year, thousands of travelers choose to volunteer in India with various volunteer programs. But why? Because they’ve figured out that volunteer travel in India is the best way to travel and understand its culture, people, and geography. From farming initiative to wildlife conservation, there are a lot of volunteer travel programs in India, where local as well as foreigner volunteers work for food, accommodation, and to learn a new and better way of life.
Let’s look at how India as a nation offers opportunities for volunteer travel.
Volunteer travel in North India
1. Spiti Ecosphere, Himachal Pradesh
Among the many volunteer travel programs, India, Spiti Ecosphere is a collaborative effort of professionals from diverse background and the local community of Spiti Valley. Their aim is to create a sustainable economy that’s linked to culture and nature conservation. They help travelers give back to the region through different volunteer programs. You can either volunteer with them or contribute through your donations and ideas to help the community living in the upper Himalayas.
What you can do: Teaching, homestays accommodation, and farming initiatives
2. Druk White Lotus School, Ladakh
Situated on Leh-Manali highway, Druk White Lotus School, which rose to fame after the shooting of the film, 3 Idiots is a perfect place for your volunteer travel in India. This is one of the best ways to travel the incredibly beautiful Himalayas while helping the school kids improve their skills or pay for their books and tuitions.
What you can do: Fundraising, donation, offer your time to teach kids
3. Aarohi, Peora, Uttarakhand
Nestled in the serene and picturesque valleys of Nainital, Aaorhi is an organization that helps empower the mountain families in as many ways as possible. They welcome teachers, sports people, doctors, marketing professionals, musicians, and anyone who wish to offer their skills and help the families make a living.
What you can do: There’s no restriction. Anyone and offer any type of help
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Volunteer travel in Northeast India
4. Fertile Ground, Assam
There’s a great opportunity in Assam that can fulfill your dream to volunteer travel in India. Fertile Ground Center is always in search of volunteers who are interested in growing and caring fruits, vegetables, flowers, and grains on the fertile land of Assam. Also, there are volunteer opportunities for young farmers and students who want to learn entrepreneurial skills, low-cost farming etc.
What you can do: Farming initiatives, tree plantation, and community development
5. Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim, Sikkim
Ecotourism and Conservation Society of Sikkim or ECOSS is an NGO that’s working for sustainable conservation in the state. They have built the Sikkim Himalayan Homestay with help of UNESCO to encourage sustainable eco-tourism.
What you can do: Volunteers can stay at the homestays to teach the families and their children different skills that’ll help them make a living.
Volunteer travel in West India
6. Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra, Chiplun, Maharashtra
Your volunteer travel in India can get really exciting in Chiplun. Sahyadri Nisarga Mitra is an org that organizes various projects in nature conservation and the protection of marine turtles, vultures, sea eagles etc. If you want to do your bit for mother nature while travelling the sublime valleys of Sahyadri, this is your chance.
What you can do: There’s a wide range of volunteer programs available for those who are interested. From helping them to compile the season’s turtle data and spread awareness in villages to conduct workshops and shoot films and prepare presentations, there’s so much you can do here.
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7. Sadhana Village, Pune, Maharashtra
Anyone who’s planning to volunteer travel in India while exploring the gorgeous land of Maharashtra must volunteer at Sadhna Village. From health services and educational inputs to economic progress and women empowerment, they have successfully ran projects in the region.
What you can do: Help mentally challenged people, women, and young girls develop life and employability skills, teach kids, and help design better infrastructure for mentally challenged people.
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Volunteer travel in South India
8. Sadhana Forest, Auroville, TN
Do you love the dense woods and a peaceful life? If you just said yes in your head, Sadhana Forest is the place for you. Anyone who’s travelling through the beautiful states of south India and looking for volunteer travel opportunities must live in Auroville and learn a new way of life. Here you learn water conservation, recycling, solar energy, food compositing, and also get involved in other projects that are created for wildlife conservation.
What you can do: Wildlife conservation and farming
9. Kabani, Wayanad
If you want to bring a change in many lives while travelling the byways and highways of Kerala, Kabani helps you do that. This is the place where you can bring your creativity, dedication, and skills to help improve the future livelihoods of the local communities as well as the environment.
What you can do: Community tourism initiatives and conduct survey, research, and campaigns
10. Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team (ANET)
Anyone who loves white sands, blue waters, and tall palm trees will love their volunteer session with Andaman and Nicobar Islands Environmental Team. There’s a huge team of professionals who focus on environmental sustainability on the islands of Andaman.
What you can do: Carrying out interdisciplinary research, Environmental Education programmes, help develop PR with local, government agencies, institutions, and communities.
We hope your every travel journey turns into a meaningful experience for you. So plan a trip in India, Are you already a volunteer traveler? If yes, share your volunteer travel stories with us and inspire other travelers to make a difference.
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