Volunteering In India Questions

#1 Jul 31st, 2013, 15:35
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#1
Hi I am currently a student in Switzerland, and am very interested in volunteering in India to help the less fortunate.
I am writing my dissertation on;

'Volunteers impact on the reduction of Poverty in India' and wondered if any volunteers that are currently in India or have just finished Volunteer work there could help me out with some questions? And maybe give me some tips for when I go there in November. Would be so much appreciated.

Thanking You
#2 Jul 31st, 2013, 16:36
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I can provide you some help here as I am associated with an NGO which primarily assist in Primary Education specially in rural areas in addition to Sanitation/Health and couple of other things.The biggest project this year we have is making a small school building in a rural area and we have a volunteer from Netherlands based in Delhi and she is assisting very actively.

Please go through this post for more info and ask if you have any queries.http://www.indiamike.com/india/volun...0/#post1581498

https://www.facebook.com/WorldWithoutObstacles
http://worldwithoutobstacles.org/
#3 Jul 31st, 2013, 16:45
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#3
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Originally Posted by Telle View Post
'Volunteers impact on the reduction of Poverty in India'
How did you get that (working?) title? Why should volunteers have an influence on poverty reduction? I think the only poverty reduction impact they have is in terms of the money they pay to the organiser of their well-intended, but most likely inefficient endeavours. I suspect most volunteers work in some humanitarian field which does not affect income.

Another impact in poverty reduction may be with some people who fall for one particular family and pay them relatively large sums to improve their living situation, which then tends to become a bottomless barrel (if that expression works in English).
#4 Jul 31st, 2013, 19:57
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I think it's a bit harsh, providing education could be a tool to reduce poverty.. Finding a good NGO is one of many problem associated with volunteering in India, I have done it in the past and hope to in the future. Strictly speaking volunteers are required to have an Employment Visa, but to obtain one of these you will need an invitation letter from the concerned INDIAN NGO you are helping. Many of the smaller charities wouldn't even know about this I expect, the companies who advertise volunturism rarely mention this requirement either. For UK citizens I think it costs around £300 for this visa, although other nationalities can get it as cheap as £60 or £70. You would also usually have to get registered with your local FRO office so they can check up on you (in the nicest possible way).

I don't think I am helping much...

Having said all of that, I think the majority of people just come to India on a tourist visa and volunteer (although Illegal (and wouldn't recommend it), I am sure there is little or no chance of being caught). This is also really the only possible way if you don't have an organisation who is willing to send you an invitation letter.

Most of the NGO's in India don't have websites or probably a defined structure that would benefit volunteers and the NGO itself. I personally would go on a fact finding mission to just 'check on many different NGO's', you will gain a good deal of insight visiting and hanging out for the day (if that's possible)
#5 Jul 31st, 2013, 20:10
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The only way to reduce poverty is to increase economic growth, and to increase the number of people who participate in or benefit from that growth (ie the distribution of the increased income).

Nothing to do with wrist bands and t-shirts, or volunteers.
#6 Jul 31st, 2013, 20:48
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#6
Interesting thesis. What would be the method of your study? How do you measure reduction of poverty? And how would you quantify the impact of any volunteer if any person or group happens to rise from poverty?
Is it even the aim of volunteers to reduce poverty? I could not say that. I have been a volunteer, and was very much humbled by the experience. I see my role as a visitor, who- for a short time- joined the people for a small part of their way. If I was able to give them a bit of encouragement to carry on along their way, I am happy. But surly they have been poor, and will still be poor, although the NGO I worked with has done incredible work for 25 years and more and although they have improved lots of things. Other problems just keep coming.

Sorry If I am a bit pessimistic (am I??), your work still is very interesting. Many volunteers are there, and the impact they have is hardly ever seriously looked upon. Carry on.

To answer your question: Since you are from Switzerland you could prehaps have a look into the German volunteer program "weltwärts". 1. They could be interested in your work. 2. It could be a way to find volunteers: All "Weltwärts" volunteers have to join a meeting ("Zwischenseminar") during their year of volunteering, prehaps if you can get in touch with such a group?

PS: I have been there in 2008, so prehaps not recently enough to answer any questions.
#7 Aug 1st, 2013, 14:13
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The impact of volunteers would be an interesting topic, but it would be impossible to see their effect on poverty reduction, since there are so many other factors happening at the same time -- govt programmes, NGO programmes, general economic growth, or conversely, increasing inequality and exploitation, individual entrepreneurs, etc etc!
#8 Aug 3rd, 2013, 03:06
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Thank You all for your feedback.

Very much appreciated.. After talking with my mentor, you are all right there is no way that voluntourism has any influence on the reduction of poverty. Thus for my thesis i will focus on the Volunteer Tourism motivation and expectation of the tourist.
#9 Aug 3rd, 2013, 03:26
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telle View Post Hi I am currently a student in Switzerland, and am very interested in volunteering in India to help the less fortunate.
I am writing my dissertation on;

'Volunteers impact on the reduction of Poverty in India'
Quote:
Originally Posted by Telle View Post Thus for my thesis i will focus on the Volunteer Tourism motivation and expectation of the tourist.
What are you majoring in ? Economics ? Developmental Economics ? Social Work ? Political Science ? Journalism ? Psychology ?

The questions you ask, would in large part be based on what your academic discipline is. There is a vast body of literature, both academic and popular narrative on Voluntourism.

Contact Dr. Angela Benson of University of Brighton, who has edited a collection of papers on this topic. I am sure there are similar scholarships in this field, in your native language too.

Best of Luck.
#10 Aug 8th, 2013, 18:21
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#10
I am actually study in Hotel Management but am majoring in Tourism and Events. We are writing our dissertation and I am very interested in developing nations and the poverty side of things.

Unfortunately I can not focus on this for I have to relate everything back to hospitality, but I am trying to find ways to make it interesting as well

Thank you very much for your advise and I will look her up


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