In India, one does not really need to leave one’s hometown to find opportunities for volunteering. However, for most of us living in cities, it is difficult to envisage how hard life is without the basic amenities we take for granted. Volunteering at a rural hospital or in a state far away from yours, can
give you insights into the very different cultures and beliefs that flourish there. You can also combine your love for travel with volunteering your time and energy for a cause. A trip to another state to volunteer at a rural hospital or maybe teach at an ‘anganwadi’ in your native village, can teach you about the various cultures in India, the differences between rural and urban thinking, and to simply be grateful
for all the privileges you have been taking for granted so far!
Travel with a purpose
Travel with a purpose is a trip that combines the fun and newness of travel with your interests, creating a journey that is far more memorable and useful than a mere trip to a beach or a hill station. Are
you interested in endangered flora and fauna that is threatened by man made causes? You can make a trip to the Lakshadweep islands and study the coral reefs there. Interested in Engineering? Make a trip to one of the modern dams – Bhakra Nangal (Punjab-Harayana) or Nagarjuna Sagar (AP) to see how they work. Or, go back in history and explore the Kallanai dam on the Kaveri in Tamil Nadu – the oldest surviving dam in India, built in the 1st century AD. Find out how they built this dam without any modern
heavy machinery, and how it has survived almost two thousand years! If you are deeply proud of the rich history of India, use your trips within the country to visit the museums and heritage sites there – talk to the museum director and learn how they preserve their buildings and statues – maybe you can implement those ideas in part at least, at other neglected semihistorical structures nearby?
If a trip to an exotic island to study the endangered flora and fauna there sounds wonderful but far beyond your reach, you can consider many other equally interesting yet practical options — a trip to any of the states in India; or, for example, a backpacking trip in the Western Ghats or the Himalayas. Either will provide equally substantial opportunities to study nature in a breath-taking setting. What is important is that your trip ties in with your interests and passions – only this way will you deepen your interest in your chosen subject or field — besides having made a memorable and productive trip that
is ‘educational’ in the true sense of the word.