Volunteer in India | Most Affordable Projects Starting From $250

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About

Volunteering Solutions provides the most affordable and meaningful programs in India. It's time for you to take a trip to this majestic country and indulge in doing something worthy for the underprivileged people living in this country. VolSol partners with local organizations and NGOs, and aims for sustainable development.

There are more than 10 different volunteering & internship programs available in India in the cities of New Delhi & Palampur. You can choose to volunteer with street children, or teach kids at slum schools, or intern under a professional doctor at a healthcare center. No matter which project you choose to be a part of, you'll get to learn a lot and gain experience. Explore the beauty of India, visit the several UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Taj Mahal. In Palampur, we have introduced the Yoga & Volunteer Adventure Program, which would be a perfect choice for those who are keen to learn the art of Yoga & Meditation while volunteering with kids.

For dental students, Volunteering Solutions offers dental elective internship placements, where they will work with professional dentists. As with other Volunteering Solutions programs in India, this dental program has a 2-week duration, and it gives students hands-on as well as shadowing opportunities in a rural dental clinic setting. Check the Volunteering Solutions website to learn more!

Choose from Volunteering Solutions' Volunteering Programs in Delhi and Volunteering Programs in Palampur.

*Looking for a great summer program? Check out the Volunteering Solutions Summer Volunteer and Travel Experience in India!

Highlights
  • Volunteer to make a difference and gain valuable work experience.
  • Explore India and travel to cities like Agra, Varanasi, Rishikesh, Jaipur etc.
  • Walk down the Himalayan trails & experience the thrill of trekking.
  • Get to know more about the country's history, culture, heritage & traditions.
  • Binge on the spicy Indian cuisine and let your taste buds feel the heat!

Questions & Answers

Hi Maggie, according to the Volunteering Solutions site, "The minimum age requirement for individual participants for most of our programs is 17 years old. Some programs also have a minimum age requirement of 18 years. We suggest you to visit the specific program destination page to check the minimum age requirement. However, volunteers below 17 years old and children can join the program if they...

Reviews

94%
based on 31 reviews
  • Impact 8.8
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.1
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 16 - 30 of 31
Sumaiya
9/10

How the Children of Jamghat have Inspired Me - Delhi Street Children Program

They say first impression is the last impression. It was my first day of the Street Children Program when the children of Jamghat, left on me, a life-lasting impression. The first day and overall experience in the program sparked questions in me that are answering all the deeper questions I have ever had about wealth and poverty, survival and transcendence.

It was two days after entering India that I found myself walking the busy streets of Chandni Chowk, amongst street salespeople vying for my business and an orchestra of auto-rickshaws, rickshaws, cars and pedestrians making their way in an interesting uncoordinated synchronicity. Bubbling with curiousity about who I would meet and what I would do, I walked down the narrow alleyways beside Pigeon market and up a set of steep stairs to my placement.

After a few minutes of meeting and greeting the Jamghat staff, the children of the shelter started pouring in like water out of a jug, steadily but readily. Wide-eyed and curious, they walked in and greeted me by calling me didi, a term in Hindi meaning sister, usually used to address an older female of sister-like age. Shortly after greeting me, the children eagerly shared with me, some of the games they play and stories they tell. They asked me many questions about myself to get to know me, and sought my assistance with their schoolwork. I was flooded with warmth! Never had I felt so welcomed in my life, and this led me to ask myself, how is it that these children appear so happy despite living in poverty? How are they so energized? So curious, keen and eager? The radiation of joy pierced through any assumptions I might have previously made. Any anxiety, stress, or reserve I might have had melted away like butter. There was no opportunity to be wrapped in the bubble of self protection and isolation because there was way too much warmth in the air! I looked around to observe my environment further: some of the children were wearing ripped clothing, there were no extravagant toys or learning materials in the room, the heat was relentless, and amongst it all, wide eyes and bright smiles. The juxtaposition was mesmerizing.

During lunch hour, a handful of the children asked me to have lunch with them, share from their plates. Dhaal and chaval, a simple meal but hearty and nutritious. The children sat in a circle and said their prayers before eating, to express gratitude for the food. They observed to see how much I was eating and whether or not I was enjoying the food. They offered me water and more servings. This was a meal the children often ate and often times their last meal of the day, as there is no guarantee the children will have food available to them after leaving the shelter. I wondered to myself, how is it that despite knowing they may not get another bite again, the children still offer me the last of what they have? And how is it that they can care so much about my own hunger in spite of their own?

As I inquired about the lives of these children outside the shelter, the Coordinators offered to take me for a stroll in the area where the parents of some of the children stayed. We visited two shelters where I met some of the parents. Many of the parents were single unemployed mothers. Some parents were working in nearby factories, street peddling or begging. The majority of parents do not have time to look after their children because they are busy fighting for survival. Hence, children are often wandering around the shelter area, playing by themselves or with each other with little supervision. They say family environments and upbringing determine success, values and behaviour in children. I wondered then, how do the children of Jamghat know how to provide attention, understanding and care to others when many have not had the opportunity to receive these things themselves from their own families due to various circumstances?

Upon returning to Jamghat I later learned from some of the children that their siblings had been lost, simply by disappearing or as a result of sickness. How matter-of-factly these children shared their stories, as if such things were an everyday occurrence. I tried to gauge the feelings underneath their words and what I encountered was strength. How is it possible to have such resilience when facing experiences of loss so frequently? Multi-million dollar industries and companies are often created to provide aids and solutions to trauma and facilitate healing, but here healing didn’t require any special tool, process
or pill. Here, healing happened because it had to; this was life, and tools were primarily internal.

As my first day ended at the shelter, I walked back to the volunteer accommodation with many questions in mind, floating around. Reflecting on my life in the West, I felt so rich yet so utterly poor. I asked myself the ultimate and conclusive question, what is rich really? And what is poor?

We are taught to make something of ourselves, to achieve in the material world, to meet our needs and survive. We learn about evolution and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We learn through media messages and advertising that we must attain various things at various times to be something, to be worthy. We have these social scripts and timelines instructing us on how to go about doing this. Yet how often during our day to day, do we smile like these children? Are eager to learn about others like these children? Want to share with others without thinking about what we have ourselves?

In one day and one experience, I felt myself unlearning all the messages that were stamped onto my being from an early age. I peeled off the old messages like an onion and immersed myself into the deep waters of this new realization. As I swam around, I grasped that these children were teaching me just as much as I was teaching them, and maybe even more so.

I have no exact answers to the questions that had surfaced for me. I critiqued myself for prior assumptions with a fine-toothed comb. All I ended up with was one foundational understanding: true wealth is internal and comes not from the external world but an inner brightness that does not cease to exist. This wealth inspires love and giving, which is infinite in supply when you sees little gifts in everything and everyone around you, when you tap into your inevitable connection with others and feel responsible for their well-being just as much as your own. The children of Jamghat have inspired me to always mine for this gold inside of me, and spread this wealth just like they do, because it is infinite and multiplies in strength with each Midas touch. We are only poor when we forget this.

Thank you to the children of Jamghat and thank you Volunteering Solutions for this wonderful, transformative life experience.

How can this program be improved?
This program, particularly the Jamghat placement could be improved by:

1. Developing a logic model with identifies the objectives and expected outcomes of core activities of the placement and providing a tip-sheet for volunteers on how to achieve the outcomes. This would allow volunteers from all backgrounds to be more strategic in their approach for lesson planning and generally working with the children. This would also help the volunteers identify the deliverables they are achieving and provide a structure for staff and volunteers to discuss progress.

2. Providing more specific background or orientation information to volunteers on the specific placement prior to their placement so they can prepare and have more of an impact during the placement.

3. Providing supplemental Hindi classes to non-Hindi speakers. This would help volunteers be able to interact with the children and Jamghat staff more effectively.

4. Making daily blog writing a mandatory component of the program. This would help volunteers reflect daily on their experiences, and use their reflections to improve their experiences as the experience unfolds.
Yes, I recommend
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Aya
10/10

Dharamsala, a pure joy!

At a certain point in our trip, we had to go to Dharamsala to hike in the Himalayas: my favorite part!
The small and cosy village offers a wonderful view on the mountains. Imagine yourself surronded by huge and colourful mountains, with the nicest people on earth and fresh air everywhere! My face shines by the memory of the hiking part, 5 hours throught the climbing but totally worth it. You wouldn't be disappointed!

Yes, I recommend
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Betty
9/10

Awesome!

With the summer program I did in india I got to know a new country and a new culture, absolutely different to what we're used to. Easy for first timers traveling alone, there were two in our group that hadn't got out from the united states in their whole life and they didn't have any problem. If you like to travel as much as volunteer like me, this types of programes offer you the best of both combined.

Yes, I recommend
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Emile
8/10

Being curious

My best memories of the internship in India are about discoveries. When you get there, keep your eyes open and appreciate the differences. This country is proud of its culture and you must get into it. We spent so many hours in trains and overfilled bus, tried unusual food that was sometimes too much spicy, saw several temples and experienced monsoon. They are all parts of the immersion and you must live it without any regret.

We had the chance to do home visits and it was definitely the favourite part of my job. The relation with the locals is totally different and the gratitude you receive from them worth all the sacrifices.

Response from Volunteering Solutions

Hello Emile,

Thanks for your review about the Palampur program in India. Glad you enjoyed your stay with us. Hoping to see you on more of our programs abroad.

Thanks
Team Volunteering Solutions

Yes, I recommend
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Anna
10/10

An amazing stay!

As a 2nd year student midwife in the UK, we have to complete a short period of Elective Placement where you chose another hospital in which to gain some experience. After deciding on India as my destination, I researched many projects to get involved in and ended up choosing to volunteer through Volunteering Solutions and boy am I glad that I did!
After a Language and Orientation week in Delhi in which we learnt about the Indian culture and some basic Hindi, toured the sights and visited the world famous Taj Mahal, I headed up to Palampur and the wonderful team at the Vidya Bhupendra Rotary Women & Child Care Hospital where I was made to feel very welcome. The hospital has around 10-15 normal deliveries and around 10-12 caesareans a month and I was lucky enough to experience one of each during my two weeks there. The nurses and doctors spoke very good English and were almost as excited as I was for my time there where we had a lot of fun and I have made some truly amazing friends. During a shift, I would observe (and participate in where I felt comfortable) Antenatal appointments, ward rounds and deliveries as well as learn about the culture of maternity in India. The hospital is run by a charity and had a good level of resources but not quite to the level that I had become accustomed to in the UK which provided challenges and many learning opportunities for me. As well as this, the practices were generally the same but with some marked differences such as it being illegal to reveal the gender of the baby.
The accommodation was nestled down a little path in a valley next to the Himalayas. The views that could be enjoyed over breakfast, from the gardens or from the roof were frankly breathtaking. The rooms were practical and well equipped and the food that was provided three times a day was local, vegetarian (apart from on Wednesdays) and delicious. The staff were very attentive and visited every day to see how we were getting on and to go for 4-5km hikes with their children around the local area every evening. They also helped to organise some amazing weekend activities such as visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar and the Dalai Lama's home monastery at Mcleod Ganji.
Overall, I had an incredible time and learnt so much about Indian culture as well as maternity services and practices within India. I would say that it has changed my perspective on so many things and opened my eyes to other cultures and how wonderful some people can be. I would recommend this experience to anybody!

Response from Volunteering Solutions

Hello Anna,

Thanks for your review for your time in India with us. Glad to know you enjoyed your time in Delhi and Palampur. We look forward to seeing you in India, in the near future again or on any of our other destinations.

Thanks
Team Volunteering Solutions

Yes, I recommend
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Jessica
8/10

my experience during the Summer program in India

I've spent my summer in thailand and india with the organisation volunteering solutions. And i have to say, my summer was amazing! India as a country really surprised me. I didn't know there were so many beautiful buildings, temples and castles! During the summer program, i had the chance to visit a lot of them and still i'm not satisfied, I want to see more! :D

I'm happy that I visit india through volunteering solutions. For me India was a far away country which I would never just go visit by myself. I was very pleased with the organisation. I was picked up at the airport. The accommodations where we stayed where always nice. I loved the house in Delhi, the hotels during traveling were amazing and the volunteer house in Palampur, especially build for volunteers, was really nice too!

There was a lot of variety during the summer program. First we where in Delhi for a week, where i volunteered in a school for street children. This one is actually my best experience. Working with this children was amazing. You will realize, once you go there yourself! The second we traveld to different cities like jaipur and agra. Definitely worth visiting! In the third week we traveled to dharamsala for hiking. This was probably my second favorite experience. The view was awesome, and I would never have done this without the guidance of the organisation. Our last days we spent volunteering in a school in palampur. A small town in the mountains.

if you like working with children and want to learn about the indian culture, i can definitely recommend this program! If you are interested to see some pictures, you can also take a look at my fotoblog: https://dreamgoanddiscover.wordpress.com/

How can this program be improved?
The last four days of our summer program we were in palampur for volunteering. In palampur we felt a bit lost after the great guidance we had before. We could have used a bit more attention of the staff.
Yes, I recommend
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Ben
10/10

Amazing Experience in Delhi

I was a little apprehensive about this programme because I'd never really done anything like this before, but it was easily the best experience of my life and the staff were incredibly welcoming and helpful. The safety of volunteers is their number one priority.The accommodation I satyed in was incredible, and our host was very attentive to our needs and the food served was amazing! I saw some incredible things and met some amazing people. I'll definitely be keeping in contact with the people I met. My favourite part of the trip was the weekend we spent in Jaipur, especially the elephant ride up to the Amber Fort. My only regret about the whole trip is that I didn't spend longer than two weeks there. Highly recommended!

How can this program be improved?
The pre-departure booklet is very informative, but it would be better if we were told the exact address of the location we'd be staying in. Nevertheless, the accommodation I stayed in was incredible, as were the others I saw.
Yes, I recommend
Karen
10/10

Karen Padilla

I loved the experience of working with children , I learned many things , I think I learned more from them than they from me.
the house is a safe place , with everything you need around , has an excellent location and all the people working in this organization behaved very friendly, they solved all our questions and took care of us .
I love to travel as a volunteer , it is a unique experience that made me grow in every way.

Yes, I recommend
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Anna
10/10

Time of my life in India!

Just came back from having the time of my life in India. All thanks to some amazing work VS and the staff are doing in India. I did the language & culture week in Delhi and then went off to do the medical internship in Palampur. It was great to work at the karan hospital and to get more hands on experience than I imagined. Amit and Bobby were awesome and the weekends trips were well planned and fun.

A must do if you are looking to go to India!

How can this program be improved?
Meals were good but a little more variety would have been nice.
Yes, I recommend
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Jessica
10/10

Volunteering Solutions Delhi & Palampur

I started my program with a language and orientation week in Delhi. I really recommend doing the orientation week as you become really close with the other volunteers and learn a lot about local customs. If you choose to do it you get to stay with Rajiv and Prya who are the nicest people in the world. Rajiv will teach you basic Hindi, which is very helpful when you work with the kids. The living accomodation with them in Delhi is more hostel like with bunkbeds in a room, but it is fun to hang out with everyone. Rajiv loves explaining Indian culture and will ask any question you ask him.

I was able to do the street children program in Delhi for a couple of days. I really enjoyed how much the boys in the street children program viewed you like a big sister. They would get so excited to see us everyday. On our way back to the volunteer house I would stop and see couple of local sites at night.

I also loved the children in the Palampur program. It is daycare like location that is more of an outdoor environment. There is also a local tea garden there that any volunteer can go to in the afternoon the kids there were extremely poor and happy to receive any attention.

Palampur was amazing. The home is beautiful and you will live with Bobby's family. In Palampur I had my own bedroom and shared a bathroom. Palampur is obviously a lot more remote and scenic. I enjoyed the fast pace life of Delhi, but it was also nice to get away to a peaceful setting. From Palampur there are many weekend trip options which I highly recommend. I got to go to Mcleod Ganj where the Dalai Lama lives and to Amritsar.

Overall I loved the program. I felt like we made a difference as volunteers and also had time to see India sites on the weekends. I feel blessed to still be close to the other volunteers I was there with as well.

Yes, I recommend
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jahan
1/10

avoid at all costs!!!

Please please research the organisation properly. This is not at all a charitable organisation. it functions more as a business and less than 10 percent of what you pay goes towards the goods cause. The dental program and childcare program from what I have personally experienced and come to know are very disappointing. There is no structure or timetable and the placements are all arranged last min for what you pay. In my first week I worked 3 hours for 3 days and in the second 2 days as I decided to leave a little early having realised I really wasn't missing much. 3 others did the same. There was no advertising of a free dental camp before we came out as a half decent organisation would do to ensure we were doing what we paid for. Instead dental camps were arranged the day before at a private school and the coordinators own tea plantation. It truly was a joke to say the least. I emailed the operation head of volunteering solutions with these and many other issues. He didn't acknowledge my issues let alone respond to them. Please avoid this organisation folks and perhaps look into doing something through a church.

Response from Volunteering Solutions

Thank you for your review. Participants feedback is of utmost importance to us. We are sorry to hear you felt there was not enough work for you on your placement and we have addressed these concerns with our local staff. We have taken your feedback very seriously and have made structural changes to this particular program with immediate effect.

No, I don't recommend
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Don
10/10

Great time in India

I went to India with volunteering solutions and it all went extremely well. The organization was super. I volunteered in a slum school in okhla two, I saw all of the sights in new Delhi, I ate excellent food, I met wonderful people, I saw amazing things. I learned alot. I spent two weeks in new Delhi on the two week special new Delhi program and one week in Palumpur. New Delhi was the best. Very exciting for a city boy like me. Tour guides and tours were provided for all of the sights including the Taj Mahal, really good guides. Dheeraj was really a great guide and a great help to all of the volunteers. It was great to call him one night when I got lost with a cab driver who had only been in the city for a week!
For me the best part was the school kids. They were all adorable and beautiful and really liked me! I will be going back in a few months. I miss them all so much. The people at the school were wonderful.
Shankar the cook is a fine young Nepalese fellow who makes great meals and will show you how to get around Delhi and will help you get a phone etc.
I went during a slower time and had my own room and bath most of the time. The accommodation is shared and you may be sharing a room with 1 to 5 people. The bathrooms are western and clean.

Recommendations;
Don't you around during the monsoon or anytime near august, you will roast, it is hot!
Bring a mosquito net, people going in and out let in the Mosquitos.
Bring an unlocked phone.
I brought my iPad, it was a sensation.
If you can bring a free checked bag fill it with school supplies and maybe some children's books.

I could really go on and on. Every day there was filled with fun. I went with the idea of being of service but also balanced it with having a good time. All of my goals were accomplished.

How can this program be improved?
For excitement stick with the Delhi program for 2 or 3 weeks. Palumpur is ok but more rural, rougher, I was only there a week and missed out on the trekking in the Himalayas. That was ok by me, I am not big on that.
Yes, I recommend
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Sam
10/10

Street Children Program in Delhi

Taking part in this program is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I was helped right from the start by Sunny and the team at VS.

Arrival was smooth and the orientation was way very intense. We were explained details about safety, culture, city tour etc. Meeting other volunteers from around the world on the first day was a relief. Our placements were pre assigned and I was working in Okhla in south Delhi locality with another volunteer from Singapore. Our day started at 8 am with breakfast and ended at 7 pm with really nice dinner at home. The accommodations and staff were way beyond expectations and we all had a great time. Rajiv was very helpful in explaining details about the city and helped in every way possible.

Working with the children was a dream come true and the experience was awesome. I would highly recommend the program to anyone who is looking to go to India and volunteer.

Yes, I recommend
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Natalie
10/10

Amazing Summer in India

I volunteered in both Delhi and Palampur program with VS this summer and had a truly fantastic experience..The local staff support was great and they were always there for any help needed by the volunteers. Made great friends with volunteers from around the world doing different programs. Visiting the Taj Mahal with the staff and the volunteers was great experience too..While in Palampur, I also visited Dharamsala and visited the Dalai Lama temple..I spent 3 weeks in India and it was surely not enough..Will be planning to visit this incredible country very soon..

Yes, I recommend
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Dhruv
10/10

had a great time in palampur!

I enjoyed my program placement. I was very new and enjoyable experience. The highlight of my volunteering experience was the bond I had developed with kids at the child care center. I was like an elder brother to them and they were like my siblings.

The accommodation was better than expected. It was a nice place to live in and was a close resemblance to the security of my home. The meals were fantastic. The cook really did a wonderful job. The coordinator provided us with a lot of freedom and help. I could not have asked for more.... amazing time.. already miss it!

Yes, I recommend

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About Volunteering Solutions

Since 2007, Volunteering Solutions (VolSol) has been working with the aim of providing support to the underprivileged societies of the world in order to make a difference. Over the last 11 years, VolSol has placed more than 13,200 volunteers across...