- Broaden your understanding of the complex reality of gender in India by examining some of the religious, cultural, and historical contexts that define this vast landscape, and by collaborating with organizations working to challenge the status quo.
- Visit Macleod Ganj, home to the Tibetan government in exile, the official residence of the Dalai Lama, & the focal point of the Tibetan refugee community. Explore the history and mission of the Tibetan diaspora, and why Tibet is & was worth fighting for.
- Collaborate with a charitable eco-tourism initiative working to blend modern sustainable farming approaches to ancient sustainable practices.
- Hike to remote villages in the breathtaking Spiti Valley and discover the Buddhist communities, culture, and religion of the uniquely beautiful Himalayan plateau.
- Explore a piece of the vibrant, historic Himachali culture by getting to know the people, the food, and the language of a hill station in the Himalayas.
Backpacking with a Purpose: Apply by November 22!
Ask any traveler – India is one of the most intense places in the world when you first arrive. It is an enigma of a country that weaves its ancient past so uniquely into its modern and progressive present. It can embody all the beauty, the sadness, and the intrigue in the world. We hope to facilitate the opportunity for you to challenge yourself and understand why it is such a powerful and distinct place.
At Operation Groundswell, our programs explore various social justice issues like gender equality, environmental sustainability, and access to education. We examine these vast and nuanced issues with local experts and activists, through our work with partner organizations and through our volunteer experiences.
Few other countries are as challenging on your body and your mind. Packed with bitter-sweet contradictions, you will often find yourself as frustrated as you have ever been in one moment and contemplating the beauties of life over sweet chai tea in the next. Ready?
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The program fee does not include flights, insurance, or personal expenses such as souvenirs. We also ask team members for a community contribution that goes directly to support our local in-country partners.
As a registered non-profit, we're committed to financial accessibility. Our Financial Needs Grant can cover 15-25% of your five- or six-week program fee and is available for anyone experiencing financial strain, including individuals from low-income households, students, and recent graduates.