What would be your reason for volunteer work in India?

#1 Aug 13th, 2005, 22:16
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  • shanthi is offline
#1
1. Because I should do it
2. Because I want to do it
3. It'd fill that empty space inside me
4. To offload some of MY baggage in helping others
5. To start living for others
#2 Aug 14th, 2005, 04:30
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  • freemanx is offline
#2
well, IMHO the only reason to do volunteer work anywhere should be to start living for others.
but you don´t have to go to india to do that. you can start right now, wherever you are. i even think if you haven´t started living for others at home it might not be a good idea to try doing it in a foreign country.
#3 Aug 14th, 2005, 05:25
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#3
No. 2 - Because I want to do it.

I was flipping through a book by Rudolph Steiner yesterday and it fell open to a paragraph that would lend itself well to this inquiry. It said that all action should come from a place of love.
Not all who wander are lost
#4 Aug 14th, 2005, 08:20
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#4
I'd say because I want to to it..But it would also feel that empty space inside.. Actually, it is something I have always wanted to do and I am hopeful that one day i will be able to do it!!
#5 Aug 14th, 2005, 11:59
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#5
I do a fair amount of volunteer work at home. Partly it's to recognize how fortunate I am to have the health, skills and time to help others. And it pays back some karmic debt for favors rendered earlier in my life.
#6 Mar 16th, 2009, 06:04
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#6

Lightbulb Why volunteer in India?

Just because it is India!!!! That is reason enough!!!!!
#7 Mar 16th, 2009, 08:58
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#7
I am currently exploring the idea of volunteering in Dharamsala with the VolunteerTibet program. Has anyone out there done so? I'd love to hear about the experience. I'm trying to stay in touch with the volunteer program itself with my many questions, but sending messages back and forth seems to have gotten lost in cyberspace. I'd be teaching English (I'm a teacher in the USA) for five weeks while living in a monastery/nunnery as well as with a family during my stay. Any help you can give me regarding local terrain and day hikes, political safety, accommodations, etc. will be greatly appreciated.
#8 Mar 16th, 2009, 11:07
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#8
To be blunt, I think that if I undertook voluntary work in India it would only be to massage my own ego. I really don't think that personally I have skills that would be particularly useful, sure I could teach people English, but it's hardly an unknown language here.

If I wanted to make a genuine contribution to the wellbeing of people here in India, rather than make myself feel warm and fuzzy, I believe that it would be more effective for me to take an extra job in England for just a few hours a week, even at minimum wage, and contribute the money towards medical care for those who are suffering without it.
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#9 Jul 16th, 2009, 06:39
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#9
A combination of all of the above. :P
#10 Jul 16th, 2009, 06:54
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#10
I'll go Haylo
Which is what aid agency staff say also..
#11 Jul 16th, 2009, 11:31
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#11
My reason for volunteering in India thirty years ago (yes, I am fifty now! )was to get to know India from a non tourist way and to really get to know Indian people. It was a great experience, I loved the kids at the orphanage and saw India in a way I would not have seen as a tourist. I shared their every day life for almost a year, and the reward was so overwhelming, all this love and smiles . It did change my life forever and I made life-long friendships.
And it had a wonderful outcome, the youngest girl at the orphanage was so cute, I loved her so much and would have liked to take her home with me. Well, strange coincidences brought her to Europe, and now she lives quite close to where I live and has become like my fourth daughter !
I am still in touch with the orphanage and have been able to occasionally raise some funds to help them and I sponsor two kids there on a long time basis.
I would encourage anyone who plans on volunteering in India to go ahead with it, you will learn so much about life and about India!
#12 Jul 16th, 2009, 12:01
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#12

Volunteer work

I did volunteer work in India (rural health delivery in Tamil Nadu) and Nepal (Tibetan refugee camp) years ago. I choose to work in areas relating strongly to my interests, and hoped to learn from Indians and India. I think in this I was successful. I also hope that I helped a little, and did not get in the way too much.
Two years ago, older and hopefully a little more mature, I helped arrange the volunteer visit of a very distinguished team of pediatricians to India. They spent a week working with a senior team of Indians in the same field. We definitely feel that both teams gained and learned from their experiences.
I feel that volunteer work should be in a field related to your interests and experience. This could mean taking a course in teaching English as a second language and then working in a poor kids' school.
There was a project in recent years in Tamil Nadu where women performed street theatre to promote better health treatment and care for women and children. They often asked for Western volunteers for their performances. Think of how a young person with theatre experience could contribute and at the same time learn.
My only conclusion is that you should go to India (or China, or Nigeria, or London) with the intent of learning.
#13 Jul 16th, 2009, 23:51
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#13
Two satisfying and subtle responses that disturb the easy division between self interest and public. Interesting, but are these the norm or is there a community of less intelligent shallow volunteers as well? I think I know the response that I would like to see..
#14 Jul 17th, 2009, 00:24
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#14

Yes, nice to read those.
I don't know if those examples are a norm, are typical; probably not. Who can say?

The original question...This, I think,...
Quote:
I would encourage anyone who plans on volunteering in India to go ahead with it, you will learn so much about life and about India!
...is a better way of seeing it. As long as the volunteers are useful, it doesn't matter.

Quote:
...to get to know India from a non tourist way and to really get to know Indian people.
...the reward was so overwhelming, all this love and smiles . It did change my life forever
When there's some attraction to India, some love of it, then whatever way you can find to stay there, with a long-term visa, perhaps in the hope of being allowed to stay permanently.
#15 Jul 17th, 2009, 01:41
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  • Paleface is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by bjp View Post When there's some attraction to India, some love of it, then whatever way you can find to stay there
or the way finds you... Volunteering, like signing up for an existing program? Is I guess what this means. My only previous experience of that was 35 yrs ago going off to a kibbutz without knowing what is was! But if one was prepared to work and contribute then it was a ball.

I didn’t perceive it as service – seva. The first two years living in India I cycled an awful lot, to get to know the land where I was going to spend the rest of the life, a little more intimately. Because i was good at that someone suggested that I lead cycle yatra’s from the Himalayan source of River Yamuna, to Vrindavan, to raise money for envirosocial projects in that location. We began an NGO, could self fund it with the mountain bike trips and it is now a sustainable entity. The activities are wide ranged yet always the scale of the challenge seems overwhelming, which should never be disheartening or the source of disillusionment.

The point of helping is simply to do so, and whatever help that we manifest is valid, doesn't matter the quantum. Volunteering may not start out as a spiritual practice, it can become one for those that wonder and even creep up on those that have never considered it, and unfold a rest of the life journey which does not require a career plan – what unfolded for me is similar to that and I discovered water management, garbage recycling and the interconnectedness of all things ! Service is the essence of the great BGita, and many ancient texts. One can’t suddenly become unselfish overnight and it’s an unreasonable pressure, but the process of doing work that helps is karmayoga, the essential nature of work. The less we work for name, fame and reward the more we unexpectedly reap the harvest of that work.
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