Rajasthan is a vibrant, exotic state where tradition and royal glory meet in a riot of colours against the vast backdrop of sand and desert. It has an unusual diversity in its entire forms - people, customs, culture, costumes, music, manners, dialects, cuisine and landscape.
The land is endowed with invincible forts, magnificent palaces. It is a land rich in music, dance, art & crafts and adventure. It’s a state that never ceases to intrigue and enchant. The magic of Rajasthan, this abode of kings, is one of the most exotic places and is unequalled in the world. So rich is the history of the land that every roadside village has its own tales of valour and sacrifice. Rajasthan provides abundant scope to explore it. The panoramic outlook of the state is simply mesmerizing; with lofty hills of the Aravalies - one of the oldest mountain ranges of the world - and the golden sand dunes of the Great Indian Desert - the only desert of the sub-continent. Here you have wonderful sand dunes and lush green forests with its wildlife like tigers, elephants, camels, monkeys, panthers etc.
Travel to Teach's project in Rajasthan works with local partners in order to focus its efforts on the development of the lower caste community. Specifically we work and place volunteers in a small village just outside of Sikar, a town about 115 km north of Jaipur.
The main project area for the past year has been in the village of Banjara Basti, with the aim “to help them to help themselves”. People of this village lack the very basic needs of shelter, water, electricity, education, employment and a hygienic way of living. They don’t have access to schools, day care centers, primary health centers and skill development workshops. Most of them lack skills, knowledge and training to earn enough money for their livelihood.
Our partner organization has initiated an endeavour to support the people of Banjara Basti by imparting them basic education, providing facilities of primary health and hygiene and skill development workshops to improve their living conditions and make them self reliant step by step.
Volunteers may be able to help with the following:
Of course, a lot of funds are required to implement all of our plans. But they are taking it one step at a time and attempting to address all commitments in a phased manner. It’s just one year since the project was started in Banjara Basti, and in just one year there have been huge steps forward and real development has occurred!
The community needs everything. As such, in whatever form you can support them, is very important and a big help for them - even if it is just your presence!
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Read how your fees are spent or compare our
prices with other volunteer organisations.
View our prices in other volunteer locations's or combine your stay in with stays in other locations as part of a combination stay.
Our application process typically takes two or three weeks, but can
be speeded up if there is a need for that. When we receive the initial application from you, we will send you our
full application form.
(1) Complete the Initial Application Form:
The first stage of the application process is to fill out the brief initial application form. Upon receiving this we will send you the full application form.
(2) Complete the Full Application Form:
Fill out the application form. After receiving this we will assess your suitability and place you on one of our programs.
(3) Placement info:
We will return detailed placement information and an invoice. If you accept the placement you should clikc the link to say so. The fee can be paid with credit card through PayPal or by bank transfer.
Once you have made your traveling arrangements you should mail your time of arrival and the means of transportation and we will confirm pickup.
You can join us for any amount of time from 2 weeks to 6 months. We recommend a trip of 3-6 months since it offers the best value. Regardless of the length of your stay, you will have time to learn some Hindi, get to know a new culture, come to know its people, and form relationships that will outlast the duration of your stay. Please bear in mind whne deciding upon dates that it gets extremely hot (over 40 degrees) in Sikar during the Indian Summer particularly during May and June.
May: Thu 23, Thu 30
June: Thu 6, Thu 13, Thu 20, Thu 27
July: Thu 4, Thu 11, Thu 18, Thu 25
August: Thu 1, Thu 8, Thu 15, Thu 22, Thu 29
September: Thu 5, Thu 12, Thu 19, Thu 26
October: Thu 3, Thu 10, Thu 17, Thu 24, Thu 31
November: Thu 7, Thu 14, Thu 21, Thu 28
December: Thu 5, Thu 12, Thu 19, Thu 26
|January: Thu 2, Thu 9, Thu 16, Thu 23, Thu 30
February: Thu 6, Thu 13, Thu 20, Thu 27
March: Thu 6, Thu 13, Thu 20, Thu 27
April: Thu 3, Thu 10, Thu 17, Thu 24
May: Thu 1, Thu 8, Thu 15, Thu 22, Thu 29
June: Thu 5, Thu 12, Thu 19, Thu 26
|July: Thu 3, Thu 10, Thu 17, Thu 24, Thu 31
August: Thu 7, Thu 14, Thu 21, Thu 28
September: Thu 4, Thu 11, Thu 18, Thu 25
October: Thu 2, Thu 9, Thu 16, Thu 23, Thu 30
November: Thu 6, Thu 13, Thu 20, Thu 27
December: Thu 4, Thu 11, Thu 18, Thu 25
Volunteers will live with a host family in a rural farm that offers them an opportunity to experience life of a typical
Indian family and learn about the local culture while enjoying free time to visit the many exciting places India has to offer.
The farm has clean and comfortable rooms (twin sharing) with fans and European toilets, 24 hour running water, hot water, electricity, a well equipped kitchen, a dinning hall and plenty of open space to organize cultural workshops and meetings, socialize or just relax. The farm is 6 kilometres from Sikar where volunteers can explore fascinating markets and other places of interest.
Volunteers are integrated into the daily lives of a sweet, pleasant Indian family typical of others living in the rural area. While staying on the farm, you are part of the household – not a tourist observing from a plastic distance. As a result, volunteers have a unique opportunity to absorb the essence of rural Rajasthan, a culture, a people and a way of life that have remained virtually unchanged for generations.
Markets, local fairs, festivals and celebrations
Rajasthani culture is ubiquitous but is perhaps the most vivid during social celebrations including religious holidays, weddings, birthdays and town fairs. The villagers are proud people and happy for an international visitor at any celebration. Volunteers will also get chances to browse through and purchase some of Rajasthan’s world renowned fabrics and jewelry at the fascinating textile and precious metal markets.
In addition, volunteers are offered a variety of professionally organized cultural workshops that include theory and practical activities relating to Yoga, meditation, language lessons, Indian cooking, Indian dress and henna painting. We can also arrange professional and reasonably priced excursions to Jaipur, Pushkar, Ranthambore and other places of interest.
Volunteers are provided with wholesome, tasty, locally produced homemade vegetarian meals three times a day- Break fast, Lunch and Dinner with Tea and Coffee, which they eat with the family while staying on the farm. Meals typically consist of eggs (included for western plates), yogurt, tea, rice and two different seasoned vegetarian based dishes. There is also a small store next to the farm with sweets, chips, nuts, soft drinks and other practical items.
Volunteers are allowed to share the kitchen to prepare a food of their own choice or learn Indian dishes in their free time.
India has three seasons, hot and wet, hot and dry and cold (but still relatively hot). The most comfortable months are from November to February; although evenings can be cold. Summer can be extremely hot with monsoon rainfall between mid-June and mid-September. Lightweight cotton and linen clothes are required most of the year with warmer clothes for evenings in the cooler months and a waterproof slicker for the monsoons.
Sikar Weather Chart
Rajasthan is connected by many national highways. Most renowned being NH 8, which is India's first 4-8 lane highway. Rajasthan also has an inter-city surface transport system both in terms of railways and bus network. All chief cities are connected by air, rail and road.
By Air: There are three main airports at Rajasthan- Jaipur airport, Udaipur airport and Jodhpur airport. These airports connect Rajasthan with the major cities of India such as Delhi and Mumbai.
By Rail: Rajasthan is connected with the main cities of India by rail including Delhi and Mumbai. Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur and Jodhpur are the principal railway stations in Rajasthan.
By Road: Rajasthan is well connected to the main cities of the country by State and National Highways.
A retired head teacher in Adult Education from Sweden, Signhild volunteered with Travel to Teach in Thailand in the year 2007 and then went on to India. When Signhild decided to develop programs in India she was a natural partner organisation for Travel to Teach.
Since retiring from the Indian airforce Madan has coordinated more than 300 international volunteers. He now hosts volunteers on his families farm. Madan speak excellent English and gives a superb introduction to Indian culture.
Gunilla joined her sister in law Signhild volunteering in India in 2007. Gunilla's main concerns are the community develop projects that run in a village close to the volunteer house.
You will need to get an Indian visa before entering the country. We recommend that you apply for a Tourist Visa which is valid for 3 or 6 months and costs up to €50. It is easier to do this before leaving your home country. You should hold a valid passport for the entire duration of your travel. The purpose of your visit is as a tourist. If you mention that you wish to work or volunteer you will complicate your application. There are two ways to apply for your visa:
Visit your local Indian Consulate
You must bring your passport, two passport photos and the €50 fee (cash or postal order only). You can fill out the visa form at the consulate or download and fill it out in advance from your local Indian consulate's website. Applications are normally submitted in the morning and collected in the afternoon (check the times at your local consulate). Sometimes visa's are processed the same day but it may take 2-3 working days.
Post your application
Download and fill out the visa form and post along with your passport, two passport photos and the €50 fee (usually cash and postal order only although some embassies now allow you to pay your fees online). Please note you will also have an additional postage fee - check the website of your local consulate or embassy.
If you are planning to work in Cambodia then you will need to obtain a police records background check before starting your placement. For details on the application procedure in your home country please take a look at: www.travel-to-teach.org/CRB-information.php
At all other locations you will be required to abide by the Travel to Teach Child Protection Policy.
The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to South Asia. You should discuss your travel plans and personal health with a health-care provider to determine which vaccines you will need.
Hepatitis A: Recommended for all travelers. Transmission of hepatitis A
virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through
exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in
contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are
eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or
Hepatitis B: especially if you might be exposed to blood or body fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11–12 years who did not receive the series as infants.
Typhoid: Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors Vaccination is particularly important because of the presence of S.typhi strains resistant to multiple antibiotics in this region. There have been recent reports of typhoid drug resistance in India and Nepal.
Japanese encephalitis: if you plan to visit rural farming areas and under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
Hepatitis B: For travelers who may have intimate contact with local residents, especially if visiting for more than 6 months.
Rabies: For travelers who may have direct contact with animals and may not have access to medical care.
Routine immunizations: All travelers should be up-to-date on tetanus-diphtheria, measles-mumps-rubella, polio, and varicella immunizations.
Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including cities. Travelers to malaria-risk areas, including infants, children, and former residents of the Indian Subcontinent, should take an antimalarial drug. NOTE: Chloroquine is NOT an effective antimalarial drug in the Indian Subcontinent and should not be taken to prevent malaria in this region. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.
For additional information on malaria risk and prevention, see Information for Travelers to South Asia.
One of the conditions of entry onto our programs is that volunteers have travel insurance. Most importantly the insurance needs to include medical treatment and repatriation in case of unforeseen accidents or illnesses. Volunteers should purchase insurance independently and bring a copy of their insurance certificate with them for their local co-ordinator to check before starting their program. Read our terms and conditions.