Home Bangalore Tried voluntourism yet? We tell you how

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Do your social bit for the places you visit by taking part in these community-based activities organised by the country’s most exclusive hotels

Feeding bears in Agra, volunteering at a local school in Rajasthan or interacting with the village inhabitants of Bandhavgarh, there are plenty of ways to make a difference and do something good. Sign up for some quality voluntourism, all while enjoying the luxury and comfort of an indulgent holiday.

Wildlife Conservation
Your journey starts at New Delhi. Take in the stunning views of some of India’s most iconic structures like the Taj Mahal and the majestic palaces of Rajasthan and couple them with some meaningful wildlife conservation at the Agra Bear Sanctuary, Mathura Elephant Rescue Centre, Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary and Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve, all while staying at luxury properties like The Park, Delhi and Jaipur Trident.

Down to business
Prepare meals for, feed and construct the habitats of bears, elephants and birds. While in Ranthambore, you will also visit the Moghiyas, a local tribe, whose kids you will educate on the subject. Rs. 1,51,563 upwards  (excluding flights).
Details: responsibletravel.com

CommunityJaipur7Rajmasand
Owned by the trustees of the Chitardai Primary School, the opulent Deogarh Mahal will be your home for four weeks, the duration of your volunteer programme. Boasting Mewari cuisine with home-grown vegetables and fruits and in-house milk products, you can expect meals that are fresh and healthy. You can also unwind after a day of volunteering by relaxing in the pool or jacuzzi at this heritage hotel.

Down to business
At the school, you can be of help in various capacities including English literacy classes, arts and crafts, lesson planning and teaching methodologies, basic computer lessons for teachers and developing teaching aids.

Getting there
By road, it is on the National Highway No 8. By rail, it is on the Western Railway Route, between Udaipur and Marwar. Rs. 2,42,298 upwards (excluding transport).
Details: deogarhmahal.com

Samode Safari Resort
At the breathtaking Samode Safari Resort, the focus is equally on the area’s habitat, local villages, reforestation, conservation and village interaction as much as it is on the exotic wildlife.

Down to business
Located at the edge of Bandhavgarh in
Madhya Pradesh, known for its tigers and leopards, you can help at the lodge-run farm and sign up for an interaction programme with the locals.

Getting there
Luxury coaches and cabs can be hired from Khajuraho airport to the lodge which is 237 kilometres away. The nearest railway station CommunityJama(Umaria) is 32 kilometres away. State/private buses also ply to Bandhavgarh from Umaria, Katni, Satna and Jabalpur. Rs. 37,631 upwards. Details: theindianluxurytours.com

Taj Safaris
With Taj Safaris, guests can experience the rugged Indian village life along with the local wildlife in four lodges across Madhya Pradesh. Its luxury lodges—Pashan Garh in Panna National Park, Mahua Kothi in Bandh-avgarh National Park, Banjaar Tola in Kanha National Park and Baghvan in Pench National Park—are the perfect base from which wildlife enthusiasts can engage in various safari-related activities.

Down to business
Install smokeless chulhas in someone’s
home in the village, teach local kids to paint and sketch or volunteer at Asha Bhavan—a home for the differently-abled. Rs. 25,300 upwards per person per night.
Details: tajsafaris.com

Ultimate India – In Style
Make a difference to underprivileged children in Delhi while enjoying all the luxury and extraordinary sights that India can offer. With Hands Up’s Ultimate India’s two-week package, travellers are given guided tours of Old Delhi, the magnificent Taj Mahal, and the pink city of Jaipur, as well as a tiger reserve and a safari, all while staying in luxurious hotels.

Down to business
Before leaving Delhi, four days are spent at a school in a deprived community, teaching English. Rs. 3,45,000 upwards.
Details: handsupholidays.com/tours/ultimate-india-in-style

—Rashmi Rajagopal
Inputs: Sam Slater

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