Alan Borenstein

This was definitely the best homestay any of us had ever experienced. All of our needs were met: a comfortable bed arrangement, transportation around Patiala and perhaps the best food that can be found in northern India.

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Rural Development – “NURTURING THE ROOTS”

There is no better way to discover a country and people but to share their everyday routine, be a part of their home and adopt their lifestyle.

Rural development program aims at finding ways to improve the daily life and living conditions of the rural residents with their participation itself along with valuable inputs from the volunteers. To help the volunteer understand the culture, language and other local issues, a dedicated team of program officers shall be available to bridge the gap between the local residents and volunteers.

Volunteer Vacation India endeavors to meet the requirements/challenges of rural India by improving the standard of living, providing clean and well paved streets, proper sanitation, disposal of waste in a proper manner, providing safe drinking water, plantation of trees in villages, teaching in the village school, interacting with the women group of the village, helping them promote the local handicrafts made by them and learning local farm/orchard practices.

Activities in the life of the villagers is an immense source of experience. For example, the village women group centre has a number of activities and their talent is showcased in the variety of handicrafts that they make. It is very educative to watch them convert daily waste like plastic wrappers etc into beautiful floor mats, baskets and other household utility items.

Volunteer Vacation India has adopted two rural schools where we help by providing stationary and uniforms. Volunteering at the local school is also a part of the program to help rural students in their education and confidence building. Interaction with the volunteers instills confidence amongst the students besides serving as a window beyond the village boundary.

The program is run in a picturesque small village called Talia at a height of about 6000 feet, in the remote district of Sirmour. Sirmour is the most south-eastern district of Himachal Pradesh, India. It is largely mountainous and rural, with 90% of its population living in villages and is in the list of 250 most backward districts of India. Agriculture is the backbone of economy here

Orchard Home stay
The volunteers stay in a small warm cottage in an orchard away from the hustle bustle of a town. The cottage was built in 1972 and still has the simple old village architecture. You will find yourself nestled in nature’s lap, with no one to intrude.

Here you get the chance to be a part of the village itself, with thick forest mountains in the background, natural beauty, unexplored valleys, mountain walks and the seasonal peach/plum orchard. The cottage is situated in an ideal surrounding to invigorate and refresh one’s soul. Beautiful village homes built in the local architecture, warm and friendly atmosphere, this home-stay promises to create an experience that you will cherish forever.

We provide the insight to various activities unheard of in certain parts of India. A sip of natural sweet water right from the mountain springs, walk in the jungles, slice of delicious peach, plums or apricots, having “power naps” under the warm sun, enjoying star gazing on a pitch dark moonless night.

The evenings and weekends are free where one can easily forget the world to relax and enjoy nature walks following one trail or the other, into the woods or along the river. Trek to the Churdhar peak and visit to the famous temple at a height of 14000 feet can also be arranged depending on the weather.
The weather is quite pleasant in summers with a maximum of 25-27 Deg C and minimum of -1 – -3 Deg C in winters.