Historically a water-rich country, India is now facing a water crisis. With 16% of the world’s population, but only 4% of the world’s fresh water, India’s demand is outstripping its supply. Poor resource management and climate change have led to soil erosion, sediment build-up, and highly irregular and declining rainfall. The land is barren and life is difficult.
Water resources underpin economic growth, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability.
DWC’s WATER FOR LIFE program successfully fulfills a communities’ water needs and helps farmers in India transform a desert into arable, productive farmland. Water For Life maps rivers and smaller waterways that develop during the annual monsoon. From this information, a containment structure to conserve the rainwater is constructed. These structures range from rock and cement walls to large dams and crop irrigation channels.
By volunteering in India, you are going to make life better for subsistence farmers, their families and their communities by building a structure that will hold back monsoon water long enough for it to seep into the groundwater system and recharge wells in the area. That might not seem like much, but for these people, it will mean bigger crop yields or even the ability to grow more than one crop per year. That will make a big difference to them.
You will be on a team of volunteers who are like-minded and passionate about giving others a hand up, not a hand out. And you will leave behind a solid structure that will serve the community for decades to come.
As someone volunteering in India, you’ll be working with our in-country partner, Sahyog Sansthan, a non-profit that deals with rural villages to make improvements that empower these communities and help them move forward through sustainable projects.
This is a two-week trip. As a Developing World Connections volunteer in India, you will work as part of a volunteer team alongside local people. You can also extend your stay if you wish to do additional travelling after the volunteer portion is completed.
Bhinder is close to the village where you’ll be working alongside local people to build a water-retention structure that will help change their lives. It’s also a short drive from the cultural and tourist centre of Udaipur, a city that offers spectacular views, palaces and other historic sites that are a photographer’s dream. A sunset dinner on the rooftop restaurant of the Jaiwana Haveli hotel in Udaipur is a must.
In April, Bhinder is in its dry season and the temperatures will be hot. It can get up to 35C, so you’ll want to pack lots of sunscreen, a water bottle and clothing that’s respectful of the local modesty standards but also light and breathable.
If you’re sticking around India afterward, you might want to add a trip north of Bhinder to the Thar Desert or take a side trip from Delhi to Agra to see the stunning Taj Mahal.
Do I need construction experience and how much will we work?
You don’t need any special skills or training. We hire local skilled labourers who will give training onsite for construction and team leaders. You will work at your own pace five days a week from about 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Your evenings and weekends are free for cultural activities and relaxing.
What are meals and accommodations like?
The team will stay at a local hotel that is comfortable and clean. The food is prepared hygienically and dishes range from local to standard Western fare.
How much does it cost?
The cost of each trip varies for each country, and the approximate cost of this trip is displayed at the top of the page. All costs will be finalized closer to the departure date. This cost is the in-country cost, including accommodations, meals, in-country transport, program costs and a donation to our Host Partner in their respective country. It does not include airfare. The entire program and flight costs are 100% tax deductible when paid through DWC.
Why should I volunteer?
Volunteer trips take you to places you otherwise might never go, to do things you otherwise might never do and to meet people you might never otherwise meet. You’ll make a difference in others’ lives and they will make a difference in yours. Simply put, there is joy and self-discovery that comes with giving to others. And you’ll have fun doing it, too.
DWC has been a huge part of my life since the day of its inception more than 15 years ago. I have been on the board of directors with DWC since the beginning and was six years as its first chair. In 2005, I had the amazing opportunity of travelling on the first DWC trip to Sri Lanka, within weeks of the devastating tsunami, to build homes for those who were left homeless. I will never forget that experience.
Following that, I volunteered on trips to Guatemala and Peru, and was team leader for trips to Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Peru, The Philippines and Kenya. Each country is so different and each project is so meaningful!
I’m a social worker by vocation and community development is my passion. I’m continually impressed by the projects that are developed by the in-country host partners in conjunction with DWC. They are always done with the input and empowerment of the people who live there. We come as volunteers to work alongside with them and leave much richer and more compassionate for the experience. It is an action of service and an act of global caring.
I’m delighted to have the opportunity to travel with you and to experience the beautiful, emotional, fun-filled – life changing – world of international volunteering.