Experimenting, not only as a way of living, but also in the events – these are some of the many offbeat events that have a very specific purpose. Be it volunteering, festivals or a special event, it brings together people from all walks of life to experience what life and living is. These are not focused on travel, the focus is on people and their work. We contribute to the common good and is a taster for those who want to learn about social change.
SNC is a school where children, of any age, are given the freedom to learn anything they want, in any way they want, whenever they want. The children learn instruments, dance, farming and anything their heart and passion wishes, alongside academic curriculum, which is taught only if the child wants to learn it. Nestled in a deep valley in a remote village, the 20-odd children can be seen sitting under a tree huddled in a small group teaching one another. The warmth towards volunteers needs to be experienced – it cannot be put in words. We connect with the children and teach them any skill or art that we can share – be it English speaking, subjects, photography, art, singing, dance, theatre or cooking.
Built around the unique concept of gift economy and plentiful opportunities to learn any skill that one would want, Auroville, a near Pondichery, is the perfect place to volunteer and devote your time in cross-cultural learning. In this volunteering event, we get to meet and work with people from all nationalities and different countries across the globe. We experience a radical way to reach out to people through teaching and learning – teaching a skill you know in return for a skill you want to learn. We engage in farming and permaculture, do yoga and meditation, learn how instruments are made, attend open events, and understand what living freely means.
We meet the true backpackers of the world – the gypsies! We stay with them, sit around a bonfire, listen to their stories, be mesmerized by their love for the road, and how they actually live such a life and that too for several generations – just moving! We travel through tiny Rajasthani villages and experience their culture, cooking with them and sleeping put under a bed of stars. We finally kick in the New Year right in the midst of the expansive sand dunes of Jaisalmer deserts with jam sessions, games, and making merry.
This is a 3/5-day festival with youth from different parts of the country. Set in an absolutely scenic location, the youth get the unbeatable opportunity to stay and interact with our volunteers from across the world, diverse cultures, unique personal stories, and involved in extremely niche and unexplored fields. They may be unsung heroes, social entrepreneurs, leading off-beat alternative lifestyle, and some committed in unique initiatives. The volunteers would conduct workshops on their culture, the work they do, their stories and the possibilities around the world. But along with these, everyone will be camping on the outskirts of a village on a green pasture. There will be hikes, loads of games, jam sessions, bonfires to keep up that energy.