Archive for December, 2008

What can I say?! My stay here has been incredible. Where do I start? I’ve witnessed a Hindu wedding, numerous festivals, and got completely immersed in family life, due to the welcoming and lovely Verma family. If you want to really understand the Hindu Culture and Rural Indians way of life, this is the place to come!

The family are warm and welcoming, and if you’re interested, they will show you everything they can.

So I’ll sum up my stay and what I’ve done… I’ve learnt how to cook Indian food, I’ve learnt how to mix cement and build a house! I’ve learnt the art of carrying loads on ones head! I’ve learnt all about cows and the land! I’ve taught English, and learnt Hindi! I’ve learnt how to build a fire, and how to dress the Indian way! And I have thoroughly enjoyed my stay. The family are lovely, and I will be rather sad to leave! Mr. Verma takes care of your every need, as they say! He is a brilliant host. Every member of their family welcomes you as one of them. And it is a lovely chance to get to know the locals and learn about real India life.

I even spent Christmas here, and it will indeed be one I will never forget, because even though the people here don’t celebrate it, because I was here they made an extra special effort, and I was truly touched by it.

I have been writing my own blog as I go, so for more information on what I have been up to here, check it out! The address is www.jodiesage.blogspot.com if you click on December blogs, you will read about my stay here.

This is an incredibly remote area to come to, and you will not see any other tourists, so you do have to be prepared for that. You will get the impression that no other westerner has ever stepped foot here. Oh and the scenery? Well it is spectacular! The natural beauty and harmony of the place is breathtaking.


Jodie Sage, 18,

jodinsage@hotmail.co.uk feel free to email me regarding any questions about here.

Cliché ‘Gap Yearer’

Peninsular Medical School



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Greetings.  I am writing to introduce you to a noble effort in voluntering in rural India.  Iti’s called the Rural Organization for Social Elevation (R.O.S.E.)and was founded in 1981 by local residents concerned about the plight of the poor in the Kanda area of Uttarakhand, India.  In 1988  it began accepting international volunteers, eco tourists and students.  Since the it has accepted over 350people from all over the world to work and live immersed in village life and the local culture  for anywhere from 1 week to six months.  It is a unique  approach to tourism that supports and uplifts the local community .R.O.S.E. is currently trying to reach out like-minded individuals and organizations in order to form a network to share information and bring awareness to its existence. To find out more about R.O.S.E., the work it does, and the opportunities it provides for tourists please visit http://www.rosekanda.org     & www.bageshwar.nic.in/excursions.htm 


First Choice Responsible Tourism Award 2005 Best Volunteering programme sponsored by The Imaginative traveler, Winner-Rural Organization For Social Elevation (ROSE)  from The WorldTravel market(WTM) London on 16th November 2005  http://www.presspicture.net/p247t-login.htm   

    Thank you for your kind attention.  Please write if you have an questions or if you have any suggestions on other ways to promote this project.
Sincerely, Jeevan Lal Verma ,Director ROSE

‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ -Mahatma Gandhi

From: Ana Cardetas (ana.cardetas@gmail.com)


 From: Pekka.Mustonen@tse.fi            page7.pdf(261.2 KB), page9.pdf(317.3 KB)

International visitors from many different countries are exposed to the Kumaoni lifestyle. Since one defines himself while meetings difference, eco tourists are also a good opportunity for the locals to realize the importance of their culture. When living and talking with eco tourists, Kanda people have to explain every aspect of their culture which make them realize the beauty of their culture.

           Besides, ecotourism has encouraged locals to organize cultural events to share with the visitors. These are opportunities for the eldest members of the community to share their tradition with the youngest. Indeed, ecotourism allow transmission of the culture from one generation to another.



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My Time at Kanda

By Anthony Simpson, 6th December 2008

After spending a couple of days enjoying the sights, sounds and intensity of Delhi, I set off on my trip to Kanda armed with a few lines of directions, and a phone number for Mr. Verma… just in case.

The journey was more of an adventure that I had planned and it took me almost 3 days to reach the village – partly due to my lack of preparation and partly due to good old Indian public transport! Upon arriving I was made to feel instantly welcome, and met the only other volunteer staying with the family at that time, a girl called Jodie, also from the U.K.

I settled straight in and was very pleased to find the community was both peaceful and laid back, just as I had hoped. It is certainly quite a different place from Delhi and the stresses and strains of the big city were instantly forgotten. I was struck not just by the remoteness of Kanda, but also by how different it was to towns and cities on the tourist trail; the people were genuine and I was intrigued by what I saw of day to day living in rural India.

There was no pressure on me to partake in any of the ongoing activities, although I soon became involved with the construction of a storehouse behind the family residence, doing physical work where I was needed and generally lending a hand. Even with this going on I had plenty of time to relax and spend my free time as I liked: exploring the area, reading, and pursuing my interest in photography.

I found my time spent with the Verma family to be an excellent taste of ‘real’ Indian life, from the excellent food we ate with the family, right down to how a Indian household is run (in addition to the ongoing community work!). Towards the end of my stay I was lucky enough to be invited to a family celebration in a village nearby and it was a real eye-opener. Spiritual and family life are very important in India and it was fascinating to see this first hand.

My experiences both of the voluntary work and of my personal contact with the family here have taught me a great deal, and I will leave Kanda after two weeks with some great memories.
Anthony Simpson
Brighton UK / Original Volunteer

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