Asia and Pacific Featured Program: India
India is located in southern Asia, with 7,000 kilometers of coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It shares political borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, China, Nepal and Pakistan.
The climate in India varies from tropical monsoon in the south to temperate in the north, and its landscape varies from southern plains to western deserts and the Himalayas in the north. Kanchenjunga, the third tallest mountain in the world, lies on the border of India and Nepal.
Hindi, English, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi and Sanskrit.
Roughly 320 to 350 million people remain below the poverty line, according to various official estimates, and India is home to 22 percent of the world’s poor. The bulk of this poverty exists in rural areas, where three-quarters of the poor live.
The quality of housing for low-income families varies greatly depending on region and location. Some of the rural population live in “katcha” homes—structures made of mud, thatch, grass or other unprocessed natural materials. In urban areas, the poor can be found living under bridges, on pavements, train tracks, highways, canals and crowded slums.
National program background
Habitat for Humanity India began operations in 1983 in Khammam in Andhra Pradesh and is today one of Habitat’s largest national programs.
Given the immense need for decent housing, Habitat India’s approach goes beyond just undertaking its own building programs. It also acts as a catalyst for improving housing conditions by offering support, expertise and experience to other groups and partners. Habitat’s direct and indirect work comes under the umbrella of IndiaBUILDS, a strategic initiative to serve 250,000 people with improved housing and related sanitation over five years, as well as mobilizing one million volunteers in the process and raising capital toward this goal.
Habitat India operates through resource centers in Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi, as well as satellite centers in the south, east and west. New partnerships with corporate supporters and nongovernmental organizations extend Habitat’s presence to north India.
Habitat India also has an active disaster response program and responds when communities are affected by monsoon rains or typhoons.
Habitat house designs and materials vary with climate and locale. Typically, house designs range in size from 240 to 360 square feet and are composed of a living room, veranda, kitchen and toilet.
Habitat India uses a save and build housing microfinance concept in order to reach more communities in need. Home partner families—usually working in groups and often led by women—save one-third of the cost of a house, with a nongovernmental organization or corporate partner contributing one-third and Habitat investing the remaining third. In future, Habitat will inject funds proportionate to a group’s savings.
To learn more about Habitat India, visit www.habitatindia.in.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may work on new construction of complete homes and with disaster-response programs.
Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai/Pondicherry.
Team members should expect to stay at a hotel or a retreat center, depending on location. Rooms will be at least double occupancy in a hotel and will usually have a private bath. Some teams may stay in a shared space with a shared bath.
Food and water
Breakfast is usually provided at the hotel or retreat center, and lunch is usually provided by the affiliate and taken on the work site. Dinner is taken at various restaurants or provided by the hotel or retreat center.
Hosting structure and services
Day 1 (Typically Saturday): Depart for India.
Day 2 (Sunday): Arrive in Bangalore, Trivandrum, Bombay, Delhi, etc., depending on the project location; Free time; Dinner; Overnight in arrival city unless close to project location.
Day 3 (Monday): Travel to project location; Welcome and orientation with local staff member; Visit project sites and families; Welcome dinner.
Day 4–7 (Workdays, Tuesday–Friday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; Work from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on site; Free time after work to clean up; Dinner; Time for team activities.
Day 8–9 (Saturday–Sunday): Free days: activity in local community and local site-seeing.
Day 10–13 (Monday–Thursday): Breakfast served before traveling to work site; Work from 9 a.m.–5 p.m. with lunch on site; Free time after work to clean up; Dinner at house ;Time for team activities; Farewell lunch with families.
Day 14 (Friday): Travel to Bangalore, Trivandrum, Bombay, Delhi, etc. depending on project location; Free time for local activities; Dinner. (For host projects located close to the departure city, this can be a work day.)
Day 15 (Saturday): Departure day.
Starting at $1,900
View the standard budget.
Volunteer Engagement specialist
If you have read the FAQs and have further questions before you submit a Global Village trip proposal, please contact the Asia and the Pacific volunteer engagement specialist.