As the seventh largest country in the world, India attracts millions of visitors every year. In fact, 8.9 million people visited India last year which was a massive increase of 97 percent. Many of these individuals were likely volunteers, particularly when one considers that approximately 1.6 million people volunteer abroad internationally annually, according to the latest statistics.
India is one of the most popular places in the world for volunteers who are looking to give something back and to help others.
Volunteering in India has actually become so popular that it’s quite famous. But why is this? Is it due to what people have to say when they return after visiting the country? Is it the reputation of the culture in this beautiful paradise or the experiences that people know await them? Perhaps it’s due to the focus the entertainment media has placed on the idea of volunteering in India in film and television.
When exploring the trend of volunteering in this country, it seems that all these factors play a part as well as a few more that are certain to make people India a top consideration when choosing a new international location for volunteers.
There is actually a saying in India that is quite well known which, loosely translated, means that the guest is your god. This idea has almost definitely lead to the fame of volunteering in India. When you volunteer in a new international location, as well as help people, you are also dependent on the kindness of others yourself.
You might be staying in someone else’s home, or you may have to rely on translators who can help you purchase basic goods. Rather than staying in a hostel, you might decide to live with a family and rely on their support and hospitality.
In India, there is a culture of giving to strangers, and the volunteers who arrive in this country always find they have a place to stay. In fact, by individuals and general society volunteers in India are welcomed with open arms. Volunteers who choose not to stay in a stranger’s home will still notice the culture for welcoming strangers when they are wandering the streets, shopping for goods or just meeting a new group of people.
The hospitality of India is somewhat legendary, and it no doubt sticks in the minds of people long after they return home from volunteering.
Of course, there is another part of Indian culture that has probably helped make India famous for volunteering, and this is the spirituality of the country. In India, there is a spiritual belief that everyone’s purpose in the world is to be compassionate and to care for those around them.
Many people visit India purely in the hope of experiencing this spirituality or to connect with it themselves, perhaps by practicing yoga under the guidance of true experts. But this idea also makes India the perfect place to volunteer. People might arrive in India to benefit their own life, but they soon discover that helping others is far more fulfilling.
There is no doubt that India is incredibly popular with a diverse population of volunteers. One of the reasons for this is that there isn’t just one choice of how to volunteer here. There are various options that will suit different types of people. Since India opens its arms to volunteers, people can work in community schools teaching English or help in hospitals and clinics to provide a better level of healthcare for the locals.
As well as this, volunteers can work to help the many children on the streets of India. According to statistics, there are 78 million homeless people on the streets of India including 11 million street children. These children live on the streets with no homes or families, but volunteers who come to India can help them in a number of key ways. It is one of the issues that attracts so many volunteers to the country every year.
There are plenty of countries where there is a need for volunteers but very few organizations set up to help individuals find their way. In India, this is not the case at all. There are a wealth of NFPs and NGOs that have been set up to help volunteers find a place in India and reach their maximum potential helping other people.
It’s difficult to work as a volunteer without a solid structure to rely on and work with. In India, that’s exactly what people find, and the huge level of support from organizations is just one other reason why volunteering here has become so famous.
It’s not just nonprofit organizations that have taken notice of the need for volunteers in India. The media has also been paying attention, and there are a number of well-known films that have certainly helped increase the level of support.
One example of a film like this would be The Darjeeling Limited. Chosen to open the New York Film Festival in 2007, the film is described as a birds eye look at India that explores more than just volunteering possibilities in the country.
It’s breathtaking scope has surely encouraged a number of young volunteers to head over and explore what the country has to offer while experiencing the culture showcased in the film.
Another film that popularized the idea of volunteering in India is The Swades. In this movie, an Indian returns home after working for NASA, meeting his relatives and learning about the needs of the local people where his family resides. It greatly reflects the contrasting lifestyles that people experience when volunteering and highlights the importance and rewards of philanthropy in India.
Aside from this, there are many more films that have embedded India into pop culture including the Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire that highlighted the serious poverty levels present in the country.
Or, there’s ‘the best exotic Marigold Hotel.’ While showcasing the lifestyles of India, films like this also encourage tourists and volunteers to visit the location and experience the culture they have witnessed on the silver screen.
As well as artistic interpretations of Hollywood and documentaries celebrities have also made volunteering in India famous. It’s well known that celebrities volunteering in a location encourage others to do the same, and many celebrities have endeavored to volunteer in India including Hilary Swank.
The ‘Million Dollar Baby’ star working in a Children’s orphanage through two months in 2016. As well as this, she spent two weeks as a teaching assistant in the country.
One of the things that people are looking for when volunteering internationally is a fresh experience. They want to discover a brand new world, a different lifestyle, a contrasting culture and that’s exactly what people find when they volunteer in India.
This is clearly shown from the feedback of volunteers who have already been and are often eager to return.
Most of the people who volunteer in India have no idea what to expect, particularly if it’s their first time travelling outside of their home country. But, once they arrive there, they are soon swept up in an intoxicating world with people who are friendly and an entire authentic Indian culture to appreciate in their spare time.
When these volunteers return to their home country, they are eager to pass on what they have learned and discovered to others, and this encourages more to investigate volunteering in a place like India.
One of the other things that makes volunteering in India so popular and thus famous is that it’s safe. There are plenty of places to volunteer in the world where life can be dangerous for visitors, but that’s not the case in India. Volunteers back from India always express who safe they felt, particularly when working with one of the top volunteering programs.
It’s easy to forget that when people volunteer they don’t spend their entire time helping people day in and day out, 24/7.
Volunteers always have time to experience the country they are visiting, and this is another reason why volunteering in India has become so famous.
There such a wealth of possibilities from seeing the sites like the Taj Mahal Palace to attending festivals such as the festival of Diwali or the vibrant festival of Holi.
As well as the festivals, there’s also a fresh world of cuisine to explore. Volunteers in India soon discover that authentic Indian cuisine offers no comparison to the Indian food that they may have dined on in their own country.
It seems then that there are a number of reasons why volunteering in India has become so famous. With so many different possibilities and opportunities, people are encouraged to journey to this beautiful land.
Their stories have attracted the attention of the media, and when people do visit, they find a culture of giving like no other in the world today. As such Volunteering in India has become idea that is attractive to people from all over the world, eager to explore this fascinating country and help its people.