India, as it may seem on the internet and travel magazines, to be a diverse and multi-cultural nation with more than 22 major languages spoken, 13 different scripts written and with over 720 dialects – this will churn up to your mind as the perfect destination to be visited on your next holiday. Ranging from the majestic Himalayas in the North to the serene backwaters in the South, from the barren Thar desert in the West to the picturesque seven sister states in the East – this would only suffice your decision to plan your itinerary on the go.
But there still lies a concern and you to review your decision. No! We are not discouraging you to change your mind about visiting this beautiful country but to re-think the purpose of coming to India.
Problems India is still fighting against
- Education Level
Even today, India has a literacy rate of a mere 74% with a chunk of its population still striving to gain basic education. Several government initiatives running over decades, many social service-groups and other private organizations have stepped forward to help in this noble cause. Despite all these efforts, the nation is still striving towards educating every poor child and making them sound in necessary languages.
2. Women In-equality
A country that took leaps in countless fields like arts, science, technology, and literature still does not stand for gender equality in every aspect. According to a report by the United Nation Development Programme, India has a mere share of 11.6% of its administrative body as women and a whopping 100 Maternal Mortality Rate. Messages and campaigns addressing this agenda have been countless in number across social media platforms, school syllabi, and national debates but the nation is still fighting its odds.
3. Medical Awareness
WHO has ranked India as 112th in terms of medical awareness and the state of medical infrastructure across the country among 191 countries worldwide. Even after 70 years of its independence India still is fighting against mismanagement of health services. Some major factors being:
- Neglect of Rural Population
- Emphasis on Culture Method
- Inadequate Outlay for Health
- Social Inequality
- Shortage of Medical Personnel
- Medical Research
- Expensive Health Service
4. Increasing number of Orphanages
Orphans and the other vulnerable children and adolescents (OVCA) living in institutional homes are more prone to behavioral and emotional problems than others as they are deprived of a family’s love and care. There is a dearth of studies focusing on the psychological health of these children in India. Today India is home to 20 million orphans and are falling short in terms of resources to provide all the necessary time and care required for a child.
5. Pollution Standards
With drastic urbanization and increasing population in the metro cities in India, pollution turned out to be the major concern of the nation. 11 cities to be featured among the top 15 worldwide as the most polluted cities, this still is a nightmare India is curbing against. Improper sewage, use of harmful vehicle gases, plastics and factory emissions on top of everything have not helped the cause in any manner. The famous monuments and heritage artworks need to be restored and maintained – they being invaluable possession of the nation.
How can you help as a tourist
Cometh the hour, cometh the concept! In today’s world of increasing problems, it is our responsibility as global citizens to eradicate all odds and make the world a better place to live on. We as responsible travelers can opt for several Volunteering Programs and bring about a change in society. This would no way engage you full time in working towards a social cause but also allow you ample time to see around and explore the gems of this country the way you like.
The benefits YOU would gain out of it
What better feeling can one draw other than helping a number of people and contributing to the betterment of a community. Spreading happiness around has no replacement and can only reward you with joy and satisfaction. Some organizations top it up by certifying you just to take part and do the job you love to.
2. Get up-close with locals
Stay with locals, eat with locals and explore around with locals – what better mode of travel can you possibly think of? Must-visit attractions, the best mode of transport, local homemade food – your ideal holiday in the making.
With the majority of your travel needs taken care of, you will end up spending just a quarter of your budget that you had in mind before coming on your vacation. No luxury hotels, no fancy restaurants nor any professional guide – all these things being your hidden benefits once you opt for these programs.
4. Expand your Social Circle
This gives you an opportunity to meet mentors, network with people and expand their social circle beyond limits. It brings like-minded people together and forges lifelong friendships. Working alongside people who feel strongly about supporting a particular cause creates a path to developing strong relationships with others. Interacting with people outside your normal social circles gives you the opportunity to expand your connections and build networking skills.
5. Physical and Mental Benefit
A task like volunteering calls for a lot of dedication and hard work. Whether it is for handling a class od 20 odd kids or attending patients in a village clinic, it keeps your mind and body on yoes all the time. This allows you not only to stay physically fit but also improves your mental strength.
6. Boost your Career
Working with the resident doctors, being a physio/coach for a sports team, teaching basic computer skills to women from rural areas and many more such activities; all these add a good amount of experience and exposure to your resume and push it a notch up.
7. Be an Inspiration to others
Inspiration is like a ripple effect. It just passes on to a like-minded person without you having to take any extra effort. Imagine going for a volunteering program with your entire family; imagine your kids watching you helping others. What better way could possibly be of imparting social education to your children.
8. Contribute towards ‘Sustainable Development’
In a Society for Human Resources Management study, companies with strong sustainability programs were compared to companies with poor programs. The former had 55% better morale, 43% more efficient businesses processes, 43% stronger public image, and 38% better employee loyalty (CNN, 2012). Sustainable Development, although, apparently is more of a ‘social’ than a ‘professional’ thing but even tad bit of farsightedness will dictate we develop, albeit, sustainably, for the very survival of the generations ahead.
So to draw it short, it’s of course fun traveling around, but what more satisfaction can you draw out of it rather than working towards a social cause for the destination. Your dream picture in front of Taj Mahal and your visit to Hawa Mahal in Jaipur might be among the top things to do list, couple with it a 1-week volunteer program educating orphans or helping out patients in a rural section around Delhi – your perfect holiday to India is just a plan away!