India’s famed ‘Pink City’ is one of the country’s most popularly traveled destinations because of its pristine location in the western deserts of Rajasthan, large variety of historical wonders, and beautiful red-tinted architecture, which characterizes its nickname. As a volunteer in Jaipur you will face the challenge of helping to alleviate the burden of poverty from the city’s poorest areas, while also having the personal and experiential journey of a lifetime. If you are ready to take the leap into India, then begin volunteering abroad in Jaipur.
Projects & Placements
Many individuals who volunteer abroad in India dedicate themselves to tackling the problems which arise from the country’s high rates of poverty with local nongovernmental organizations. Many rural Indians migrate to the cities in search of economic opportunity, and are instead left jobless and penniless on the competitive margins of urban life. Volunteering in Jaipur specifically can range from placements in orphanages, health clinics, teaching in schools, community development, and the like, working to improve the living conditions of the city’s poorest population.
Volunteer placements in Jaipur in the areas of women’s rights and social justice are also quite popular, as in the rest of the country. Gender inequality is a slowly changing facet of traditional Indian society, and there are many organizations dedicated to raising awareness, encouraging empowerment, and providing training to local women with limited access to proper education. Individuals who choose to volunteer in Jaipur in these organizations will help to educate marginalized women and teach them valuable life skills, such as a computing, reading, and speaking English.
There are many different opportunities to volunteer in Jaipur, so browse through a variety of programs before selecting the type of volunteer work that suits your interests best. Fortunately, most volunteering in Jaipur does not require you to know any Hindi or Rajasthani, though it certainly wouldn’t hurt to pick up some basic phrases along the way.
Volunteer programs in Jaipur are available throughout the year, with flexible start and end dates, giving volunteers great influence over their timeline. Keep in mind that the summer months can be scorching hot and humid in Jaipur, and are followed by the monsoon season. Autumn, winter, and spring are more ideal for volunteering in Jaipur, yet still tend to be less common times to volunteer.
Life in Jaipur
Life in Jaipur can prove to be a big adjustment for volunteers from around the world. Culture shock will certainly have its moments as you begin volunteering in Jaipur, especially as you adapt to a drastically different lifestyle while working intimately with the often intense poverty of an urban environment. Volunteering abroad in India can be both a sobering and spiritually uplifting experience for foreign volunteers – the trick is to roll with the punches, keep your eyes open, and let the journey work itself out.
Jaipur is a popular tourist city known more as a cultural than economic center, meaning poverty will be less concentrated here than in some other large metropolitan areas. This also means you should be wary of tourist schemes – locals might hagal you and try to take you on city tours frequently. However, it should be easy to kindly decline and go on your way.
Jaipur has some of the best marketplaces and food in all of India, which will serve up a fun and rewarding cultural experience for those who volunteer in Jaipur. There are also a large amount of architectural and historical wonders within the city – the Hawa Mahal Palace, Nahargarh Fort, Jantar Mantar Observatory, and Monkey Temple are all certainly worth at least one visit during any volunteer program in Jaipur. Rickshaws and buses will take you anywhere you want to go throughout the city, making all corners of the city easily accessible.
Lastly, life in Jaipur will be very inexpensive for volunteers. India is one of the cheapest countries in the world to live in, with meals and transportation costs never running more than a few dollars at a time. Bear in mind that much of the city is run by the informal marketplace, meaning that you will get very good at bartering throughout your volunteer program in Jaipur.
Accommodations & Visas
Most volunteering programs in Jaipur will help you to organize living arrangements for the duration of your stay. Homestays are quite popular for shorter stays (a few weeks or months), and give volunteers a completely immersive experience living with a local Indian host family. Expect the most from legendary Indian hospitality, from delicious home cooked meals to invitations to family get-togethers and religious festivals and much more. For individuals who plan to volunteer in Jaipur for a longer period or who desire a more autonomous lifestyle while volunteering abroad, many programs will help volunteers organize independent or group living in flats as well.
You will need to obtain a visa to volunteer abroad in Jaipur, India. Communicate with your volunteer program provider early on about which visa is the best option for your program. Tourist visas are typically easier to obtain, but may not last for the whole duration of your volunteer program in Jaipur, which would require a volunteer-specific visa instead. It is important to get started early on the visa process as it can become time consuming if you do not plan ahead (consult GoAbroad’s Indian Embassy Directory to find an embassy near you to seek out more information about visas).
Benefits & Challenges
In addition to providing valuable services to local communities, volunteering in Jaipur will also change your life forever. India has a way of working magic upon international volunteers, exposing them to a society full of cultural and spiritual richness yet void of many material necessities. Volunteering abroad in Jaipur will teach volunteers about themselves and the world around them, and more importantly will put action to word by working everyday to improve the lives of those left behind in society.