Many local and international students look for opportunities to volunteer in India. Volunteering is committing yourself to devote time and effort to benefit a community, society, environment, and individuals. It is about doing something for others, being selfless and charitable. It gives opportunities for societies to help each other without expecting anything in return. Volunteering is for people who are generous and kind-hearted.
India is a popular volunteering destination for students or explorers. Travellers are deeply moved by the poor living conditions of some regions. Volunteering opportunities in India focus on tackling poverty, improving the population’s education, empowering women, relieving the impact of COVID-19 on the country etc.
Here are top 10 volunteering opportunities in India:
1. YUVA India
Based in Mumbai, YUVA was founded in 2015 by a group of enthusiastic young individuals, led by Krishna Athal. Its aim is to create a brighter future for the children and youth of India and Mauritius. YUVA is one of India’s and Africa’s largest and most active youth-led organisations.
YUVA focuses on creating better opportunities for the children and youth of Mauritius and India by getting them involved in the country’s development. Their voice is heard, and their concerns are being acted on. Children and young people gain new skills and experiences that will be useful for their development.
YUVA’s objective is to develop healthy, educated, empowered, and employed individuals to break the cycle of poverty.
Sankalp Voluntary Organisation is a volunteering organisation in India, created to make the world a better place. The volunteers who wish to work in India for non-profit organisations contributing to the betterment of society can apply to volunteer.
Through volunteering opportunities with Sankalp, you assist orphanages, schools, and small communities with better childcare and improve education as a responsible tourist in India. The organisation tries to make the most impact by directly supporting people through volunteer programmes that provide the chance for a new life and a new future for the underprivileged communities.
CRY was born of a dream to ensure happier childhoods for all children. In 1979, Rippan Kapur – an Indian Airlines purser – started CRY with six friends and just Rs. 50. Today, over four decades later, CRY works with 102 local NGOs across 19 states in India and has impacted the lives of over 3 million children.
Its mission is to enable people to take responsibility for the situation of the deprived Indian child and so motivate them to seek resolution through individual and collective action, thereby allowing the children to realise their full potential. CRY advocates for the rights of the children; the right to development and education, the right to survival, the right to protection, and the right to participation. To do so, CRY offers services such as educational programmes and pre-and postnatal care, and the organisation gives the children the opportunity to be heard.
Smile Foundation, an Indian social development organisation, directly benefits over 15 lakh children and their families annually. They have more than 400 live welfare projects on education, healthcare, livelihood, and women’s empowerment in over 2,000 remote villages and urban slums across 25 states of India.
Education empowers an individual to earn their livelihood and increases their awareness of various issues. From healthcare to appropriate social behaviour to understanding one’s rights – Smile Foundation seeks to educate, empower, and cultivate better citizens.
5. Care India
Care India is a not-for-profit organisation that builds the capacity of communities to ensure empowerment for marginalised women and girls. Their sustainable and holistic interventions in Health, Livelihood, Education, and Disaster Relief & Resilience, provide innovative solutions to deep-rooted development problems.
Along with access to the international confederation of expertise, they integrate internal knowledge and a strong network of partnerships to deliver outcomes at scale to varied stakeholders. Care India aims at upholding the dignity of everyone, adhering to an ethical code of conduct in all actions, fulfilling their duties and responsibilities, setting high-performance standards, and being accountable to them.
HelpAge India is a non-profit organisation in India, set up in 1978. The organisation works for ‘the cause and care of disadvantaged older persons to improve their quality of life. HelpAge envisions a society where older people have the right to an active, healthy, dignified life. It recently became the first and only Indian organisation to be honoured with the ‘UN Population Award 2020’ for its exemplary work in the field of ageing and relief efforts work during the Covid 19 pandemic and recognition of the organisation’s outstanding contribution to population issues and actions in the realisation of older person rights in India.
The organisation’s programmes are focused on direct interventions in the areas of healthcare, age care (helplines, senior citizen care homes and day-care centres, physiotherapy), livelihoods, disaster response (e.g., covid19 relief response), advocacy and awareness on rights and policies relating to elders.
Pratham is an innovative learning organisation created to improve the quality of education in India. As one of the largest non-governmental organisations in the country, Pratham focuses on high-quality, low-cost, and replicable interventions to address gaps in the education system. Established in 1995 to provide education to children in the slums of Mumbai, Pratham has grown both in scope and geographical coverage.
Pratham means ‘first’ in Sanskrit. True to its name, it is the first major organisation to achieve lasting, wide-scale success in India’s educational landscape. This has been made possible due to various policies and strategies adopted by the organisation.
8. LEPRA India
LEPRA is a non-governmental organisation that promotes quality healthcare and initiates and fosters new developments and implementation. It was established in Hyderabad in 1989 to serve the needs of people affected by leprosy.
LEPRA focuses on health improvement activities in the marginalised or poor community, especially women and children, young people, slum populations, and migrants affected by the diseases mentioned above, and tries to bring about positive changes in their lifestyle. LEPRA operates in 10 states with 19 referral centres and over 400 staff.
Prajwala is a pioneering anti-trafficking organisation working on the issue of sex trafficking and sex crime. Established in 1996 in South India, Prajwala has pan India and International operations. Prajwala works on the five pillars of Prevention, Protection, Rescue, Rehabilitation & Reintegration.
As one of the most powerful voices advocating nationally and globally for victim-centred services, Prajwala, in its 25 years of existence, has assisted the police in rescuing over 24,000 women and girls from sex slavery and facilitating their journey to recovery.
Save the Children is India’s leading independent child rights NGO, which works in 16 states. Beginning its journey in 2004, when it was registered as ‘Bal Raksha Bharat’, they have changed the lives of more than 12.4 million children till March 2022.
While they run several programs across India, they also work in tandem with numerous government agencies, civil society organisations, and communities across five core themes: Health & Nutrition, Education, Child Protection, Humanitarian Response, Disaster Risk Reduction and Child Poverty.
Ingrid Roussel, YUVA Intern