Hi, I'm a Speech Pathology student from Sydney and I just got back from one month of volunteering in Palampur, India. I went through an Australian company whom are affiliated with the organisation, 'Volunteering India'.
After returning just two weeks ago, I can't help but rave about how amazing my experience was in India. Even though I have travelled to India before with my family, this was a totally different and so much more special experience for me.
The guys who work for volunteering India in Palampur, know Palampur inside out and have years of experience running volunteering programs in their beautiful town. They are definitely not short of knowledge and are so friendly, so there's no way you feel left out. They set you up at placements suited to your field of study and are happy to hear what you're interested in and work with you to ensure you have the most rewarding experience for yourself and the most beneficial for the community. Since I am studying speech Pathology, I volunteered at the Rotary School for children with disabilities. However, there are plenty of ways you can volunteer in Palampur depending on your area of study. For example the other students who travelled with me had backgrounds in nursing, midwifery and physiotherapy, so they were allocated placements at the various hospitals and medical clinics in Palampur. There was also a group of school students while I was in Palampur who had come on an expedition camp and their goal was to paint three Childcare centres within a few days! It was incredible what they had achieved in such a short space of time. There really is so many ways to volunteer in this small town, and every experience is so rewarding!
It's so easy to build friendships with the town people. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. We were looked after well by our in-country partners Bobby and Amit who work for Volunteering India. They are two very kind and approachable people whom I’m very happy to call my friends. Not just them, but so many wonderful people I've met in Palampur will be my friends for life!
I am having withdrawal symptoms and just want to go back right now!! Looking forward to planning my next trip there in the near future! If you do go, make sure you stare at the mountains for a little bit longer every time...It’s worth it! After all, it’s not every day that you get to wake up to the Himalayas!!!
I definitely recommend ‘Volunteering India’ to anyone who wants to volunteer and experience India differently.