Do not miss it, India is waiting for you!!
My volunteer in India
I tell you very briefly, or perhaps not so much, my experience in Lokpanchayat, can help you take the step towards a different volunteering and at the same time very enriching.
The organization provided me with all the support that anyone that travels need in order to be with total peace of mind in a country with so many peculiarities such as India, this organization is very responsible. They gave me at all times the bureaucracy, sometimes terribly complex in India. They offered me all the support I needed (logistics, information, contacts of interest, etc …). So everything was much easier. Even if you are curious and anxious to know better the Hindu culture. The organization will be happy to share their extensive knowledge in the field with you.
I was working on the support program in the women’s shelter, where I also stayed. It is a short stay shelter for women with problems (mainly ill-treatment). Living with them in your own home is the best way to get to know firsthand the project and the life of these women.
Around the house reside several families linked in one way or another to the organization, they were a fundamental part of the trip and are the engine of the project At all times they were pending of me, always attentive to any need that I might have, including, constant invitations to take tea with them and their families, even, some invitations to eat and / or dine with them. They love it and they are proud to share “floor” and tablecloth. Now, bring your stomach prepared to withstand the spicy of the place …
The day to day
As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done in a center like this. From the organization of the kitchen, empowerment workshops with women, games and play activities for the children of women. In addition to the management, purchasing and use of resources. In summary, in no time you will lack of some task or work to do to contribute with something positive “your harvest” once installed.
Not everything is rosy in the house, bear in mind that each of the users brings a heavy burden, knowing their most recent past and why they have reached this situation will make them feel some behaviors such as insecurity, sadness or Desperation that sometimes you detect only with a cross of looks.
You will also have time to devote to leisure and tourism. Getting here and not doing it would almost be a sin. Samganmer is a medium-sized population for Indian Standars. It is not particularly beautiful but it is a very representative sample to understand how people live in rural India. Unknown and far from the great tourist attractions of the country. Which gives it a point of authenticity that surely have lost the traditional circuits frequented by Westerners. In fact, in the fifteen days I was in Sanganmer and around, I hardly saw two or three Westerners. I can assure you that the feeling of disconnection is total.
What can you visit
Not far from Sanganmer, there is a tribal area called Bandardara, very sparsely populated, which is to be appreciated in India, with incredible landscapes, terraced rice fields ancestrally cultivated, villages lost between mountains, rivers and cliffs. In short, a day trip is more than recommended.
Another excursion that will take you a couple of days but that you can not miss is the visit to the Ellora and Ajanta caves. They are two authentic jewels that if they were inside the circuits previously named would be world-famous. I do not want to tell you more because the best thing is that you discover it yourselves.
On the way to Bombay for your return, I recommend you stop in Nasik. The holy city of India. Where the world’s largest pilgrimage, the “Kumbhamela”, is periodically held. Nasik is crossed by a river where the hindus deposit the mortal remains of their loved ones and perform a series of religious rituals on the riverbank.
If you have time, a trip to Trimbak, another holy city just one hour from Nasik. Will give you the opportunity to get to know one of the most important temples in all of India for its symbology within the Hindu religion. Here the environment is spectacular, surrounded by mountains that, if you dare and like to trek, it is worth exploring.
Finally, since I wanted to make a short writing and I am getting longer than I wanted. I just want to tell you that in my opinion, this is a unique opportunity to discover in totally different culture. Know the most vulnerable and forgotten parts of society. Collaborate with an organization that performs an essential task for many people.