RUCHI (Rural Centre for Human Interests)
Dharamvir Singh, Executive Director
30 villages in Baddi township area, Solan district in Himachal Pradesh state, India
Remark for Period
3 months participation from 02/01, 05/01, 08/01 and 11/01 is possible. Open to 1-2 months participation if the places are not full at 2 months before the starting date.
Local/ social situation/ needs for the project
The area is mountainous where the living of people is dependent on farming. The weather is pleasant round the year, pollution free and safe and secured. It is also not crowded like other Indian towns or cities.
Name and description of the local host
You will be working in RUCHI office and staying at Guest House in RUCHI campus. RUCHI is an NGO committed to community development and promotes international volunteer services for over 30 years. We have taken up an ENVIRONMENTAL PROJECT lasting 36 months. You will be responsible to prepare environment education material and educate people on environmental issues/concerns. RUCHI is situated 1000 meters off the village. The altitude varies between 1,050 meters (3,200 ft) and 2,000 meters (6,560ft).
Aims and expected impact of the project
The impact will be seen in terms of confidence among students and etiquettes developed.
Main voluntary work
- Renovate the check dams for soil and water conservation and also assist in overall development of people.
- Educating rural communities on various aspects of environment including preparing educational materials and taking feedback from the people.
- Assist in office work and work as a team with RUCHI staff in community development area
- Approximate working hours: 09:00-14:00 x 5 days in a week
Type of building: Guest House in RUCHI campus
- Sleeping: Sharing with other vols.
- Meals: Cooked by vols. & locals
- How and how long to go to work: To stay at working place
- Smoking: Only outside building
- Internet access: available but slow speed
The area is close to Shimla, the state capital and once the summer capital for British army when they ruled the country. The town still proudly displays the British architecture. Shimla is connected with Kalka with a small gauge train (known as toy train) started during British raj. The train ride is recommended for a short visit to Shimla. The train passes through 101 tunnels on this 90 km stretch moving through the beautiful scenic sites. The area is predominantly rural with Hindu religion followers. However, people are open minded, respect other religions and cultures. All guests are given warm welcome and hospitality. Climate is pleasant throughout summer and gets very cold in winter. Monsoon months (June to August) may have severe rains.
- Nearest international airport: IGI, New Delhi
- Transportation from the capital or other major city: 320 km from New Delhi. Connected with road and rail. Nearest domestic airport is Chandigarh and railway station is Kalka. Cost varies from Indian rupees 300 to 600 (by rail or bus).
Volunteers will have opportunities to merge with local people, culture and learn from age old traditions. During free time, they would be welcomed by other village families and may plan to go to nearby touristic areas like Shimla town (used to be British capital when they ruled India and Chandigarh city (famous for Rock garden).
Qualification for volunteers
- Required: Knowledge of English, sincerity, adaptability and good motivation
- Preferable: Experience of teaching may help.
Attraction for volunteers
Good knowledge of local culture, Indian traditions and festivals and enjoy warm Indian hospitality.
Participation fee to the host NGO: 850 Euro for 3 months (283 Euro per month)
- On arrival training: at RUCHI for 3 days
- Special care during Project: RUCHI staff will stay in touch with the volunteers and assist them as per their needs to stay in touch with their families and friends.
- Evaluation meeting: Mid term evaluation will be done monthly at the office. Final evaluation and feedback sessions will be held before their departure. Each of them will be for one day.
The area is full of scenic beauty and volunteers will find them very close to nature which they miss in industrialized urban areas. Open to Non-Asian if the places are not full at 2 months before the starting date.