Volunteering is a unique travel experience that enriches your knowledge of the country you are traveling. Not only are you given to opportunity to connect with locals and help those in need, but you are also given the opportunity to live as a local and be part of the community.
There are different types of volunteer travel in India that travelers should research before applying to work as a volunteer in India. The following sections will guide those looking to volunteer in India and explain importants aspects to consider before doing so.
How to Volunteer in India
Choosing when and where to volunteer in India and organizing your volunteer work are just some of the most important parts of setting up your adventure to help others. Travelers should take the following points into account in order to successfully organize their volunteer time in India.
Find a Charitable Organization
This decision will define your whole volunteer experience in India. Choosing an organization that shares the same values as you is one of the best ways to decide which charity to volunteer for. It is also a good idea to analyze the type of volunteer work and whether it fits with your skills, abilities, and using them to the maximum. Sometimes, choosing an organization can take a while or be a tough search. Avoid settling for the first charity you come across and make a list of the top organizations before picking your final choice.
For how long do you want to volunteer? It’s important to be realistic about your volunteer period and also check the expectations of the organization. For example, many travelers volunteer in India for a month or two, depending on the organization. However, it is recommended that you check how many days off a week you will be given, as well.
Some organizations will let volunteers choose when they volunteer, although it might not be possible for others. Always double-check this before agreeing to anything fixed.
You need to be able to finance your volunteer travel in India as usually volunteering does not include any payment towards travel, food or accommodation. Travelers should also calculate your travel costs and spending money whilst in India to work out how long you can afford to volunteer for.
Every organization will have a different policy regarding costs. Some may be able to offer you accommodation, whilst others will be unable to offer anything and may even expect you to donate money to the charity on top of volunteering.
In addition, it is advisable that travelers double-check the living costs of the area of India, as prices vary depending on the region of India.
Working Hours and Work Conditions
The working hours of your volunteering may be flexible or depend on other aspects, such as the type of project, number of volunteers, etc. Research how long you will be expected to volunteer for and whether you will be given days off during your volunteer period. This will also affect the time for which you want to volunteer (see above for more on volunteer time).
Many organizations work standard office hours from 9 am until 5 pm. This is not the case for all charitable organizations in India, as some will allow you to choose your volunteer hours.
The work conditions are also very important and will vary depending on the type of charity work, the organization itself, and where you plan on volunteering. If you are unable to find information regarding the required working hours for volunteering, contact the organization directly before accepting any volunteer work officially.
It can be nerve wracking agreeing to volunteer for an organization that you know very little about. The transparency of an organization is one of the most important aspects to consider before agreeing to dedicate your time to them.
Unfortunately, not all organizations make the life changing changes that they claim to make or sometimes, in the process of helping others, the environment or eco systems are damaged or other people have to compensate. Hence, choosing an organization to help is very important, as it will determine how far your help will go.
If you wish to find out more about the organization’s reputation, research the company and find out how the organization affects their cause positively. You can read different websites, research social media platforms, and find out whether you think it is a cause worthy of your help.
Do not forget to consult whether you will require an Indian visa in order to travel and volunteer in India. Applicants are able to obtain an Indian eVisa online without applying at an embassy and can skip immigration queues upon arrival in India.