India- Bharatpur, Rajasthan
Our team will be making friends and building homes in one of the resource-challenged rural farming villages near Bharatpur. We will be working alongside and learning from local builders, community members and eager homeowners who are striving to improve their community and brighten their futures. Our hard work and occasional discomforts and challenges will be accompanied by new friendships, satisfying accomplishments and a lot of fun.
Good people, hard work, eye-opening experiences and families who are right now saving and planning for their new homes are waiting for you in Bharatpur. All you need to bring is a smile, a desire to help, a taste for adventure and a good sense of humor!
Bharatpur, Rajasthan lies in the cradle of India’s great Mugal Empire past, only a short day trip away from the legendary Taj Mahal and the historic Red Fort, and is home to the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Keoladeo National Park. Unfortunately, alongside its rich history and natural beauty, the Bharatpur area suffers from wide-spread poverty and a severe shortage of decent housing and basic infrastructure. It is a place you will never forget and where you and your Global Village teammates can make a difference.
The Republic of India is home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world and is a land as diverse as it is vast. Its population (more than 1.2 billion as of 2008) is expected to exceed China’s, making it the world’s most populous country.
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.
India gained its independence from Great Britain in 1947 and is the world’s largest democracy. Since independence, India’s history has been turbulent. Now in a period of liberalization, India faces the challenge of modernizing while trying to preserve its ancient culture. With an annual per capita income of US$1000, most Indian families are unable to afford a decent home.
About Habitat for Humanity India
HFH India was formed in 1983 and has built more than 17,000 houses that are approximately 350 square feet, with at least two rooms and a latrine. House designs vary, depending on materials available in the area and the specific needs of the local community.
Habitat’s IndiaBUILDS campaign aims to house 250,000 people over five years, mobilizing 1 million volunteers in the process and raising capital toward that goal. Currently, HFH 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 non-governmental organizations extend Habitat’s presence to north India.
HFH India also has an active disaster response program. Reconstruction efforts after the December 2004 tsunami built on earlier initiatives in Gujarat, where Habitat provided homes following an earthquake in 2001 and in Cuttack, Orissa, where communities were rebuilt in the aftermath of a super cyclone. For more information, please visit the Habitat for Humanity India’s website.
Most of the village houses near Bharatpur are small mud structures with thatched, grass, wood or bamboo roofs. These houses expose families to danger and the vagaries of nature. People live with the fear of being bitten by snakes, scorpions and other poisonous insects that hide in the thatch. During heavy seasonal rains the thatched roofs often leak or become damaged, thereby increasing risks and maintenance costs. Children in dilapidated houses suffer as they do not live in secure environments. Many houses lack basic toilets and facilities/places for private washing/bathing.
HFH India has just commenced a low cost housing project in Bharatpur. HFH India has been working in this area for a few years, building and repairing village housing. This new project aims to construct 80 new houses for poor families. HFH India houses will be constructed with brick walls and concrete corner pillars. They will have reinforced concrete roofs and a private in-built toilet and bathroom.
Types of construction for volunteers
Volunteers may work on new construction of complete homes and with disaster response programs. Habitat house designs and materials vary with climate and locale. Typically, house designs range in size from 240 to 360 square feet and are comprised of a living room, veranda, kitchen and toilet.
Day 1 (Friday or Saturday): Depart the United States, travel day.
Day 2 (Saturday and Sunday): Travel days.
Day 3 (Sunday): Arrive in Delhi; welcome and orientation with local staff member; free time; dinner; overnight in Delhi.
Day 4 (Monday): Travel to Bharatpur.
Days 5-8(Tuesday-Friday): Work Days; 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 and time for team activities.
Days 9-10 (Saturday-Sunday): Free days: activity in local community; site seeing.
Days 11-15 (Monday- Friday): 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. Friday -Farewell lunch with families; travel to Delhi; overnight in Delhi.
Day 16 (Saturday): Departure day.
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.
Breakfast is usually provided at the hotel or the 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.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Increase your impact: Take the GV Challenge
Habitat for Humanity is accelerating its work to end poverty housing, and we need Global Village teams to help. Set a goal and fundraise to make your impact last longer than the days you’re in the field. Your support builds more homes, creates resource centers, educates families, and advances our projects to build sustainable communities. We’ll even provide tools to make fundraising easy. Take the GV Challenge – join us in sharing our story and building a better world.
Mark Dean lives in Concord, New Hampshire. The Bharatpur project will be Mark’s sixth Global Village build and his fourth in India. This will be his second time leading a team in Bharatpur. In addition to the previous India projects, he has participated on teams in Cameroon and Thailand. Mark is also involved in ongoing NGO development activities in Cameroon.
If you are interested in joining an adventurous and good-humored team in Bharatpur, or if you want more information, contact Mark by email at email@example.com, by phone at 603-230-9955 or on skype at mdeanlawpc.