Top 10 Scams of India

Volunteer Agencies


"They've just got it in their head that they have to volunteer - why shouldn't i provide that service to them?"-Charity boss in Pokhara

It has become trended for westerners(often Americans)to try and do some 'helping' or 'good deed' activities while on holiday in India. This conveniently fits around trekking trip to Nepal or drunk raves in Goa. They think nothing of playing Mommy or daddy to orphaned children for a few weeks, still glossy eyed from the previous nights' festivities. That's how successful adults behave live, don't you know?

The self righteous attitudes seem to grow day by day. They will scoff at other travelers who spends their time 'doing nothing.' While of course they are akin with mother Teresa, like a great bald eagle landing to save the poor backward natives.

Where have we heard this before? The missionaries in the 18th century too felt a need to help the native Indians  in North America. This spelt the genocide of their culture and civilization. I think the modern day volunteers are doing exactly the same thing. Spreading their western/ Christian mentality disguised as do-goody.



The village system in India and the ability feed a large part of the population by the all you can eat thail meal plan is a shining example of Indian culture.

I think very few charitable organizations do not have some sort of ulterior motive, IE religious doctrine that goes along with all that 'love.'

Others travelers may volunteer and recommend to you the same agency. But what did they really know as to what was really achievement and outcome of the work? What is the hidden agenda? Watered down Christianity? Teaching English and Western Capitalism 101?

If I hand out free sandwiches everyday to people soon no one will make or buy their own lunch. Why should they if they can get it for free?  It may seem like a nice idea to give out free sandwiches and it may make me feel good about my self but does this empower people or make them a slave? What will happen tomorrow when you bring no sandwiches? They will be hungry again.

It has become a business over the years to provide “volunteer tourism.” Beware of unscrupulous agencies that offer little except a scam to take your money and do some busy work.

My advice: visit India first with your own money, learn about the country and culture, then think about volunteering.

Ideally spend 6 months in India first, then make a commitment for at least 6 months to a year to volunteer. If your not ready to commit don't do it.

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