Land of Spice
The Republic of India is the seventh largest country in the world, over one-third the size on the U.S. This prodigious land has incredibly diverse regions from the breathtaking snow capped Himalayan Mountains, the youngest and tallest peaks in the world, to the tropical waterways of the south. The central part of the country branches out to the deserts and plains, followed by the natural beauty and verdure of the eastern forests.
India is an exciting place to be; its rapid growth and adaptation to a modernized society leaves it culturally colorful. Community gatherings are common among friends, families, and neighbors for either celebration or sorrow; society in general is very interactive and caring of one another. The culture places a paramount value on the family unit. Often times there are generations of family members living together under one roof, usually with the eldest male acting as head of the family. Indian weddings are usually elaborate affairs and arranged marriages are still common, being arranged according to caste and social standing.
India is perhaps the only place in the world where twenty religious streams flow together. It is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, all of which are still practiced today. Any visit to India will be immersed in spirituality. Spirituality has a dominating influence in everything including, clothing, home, school, work and friendships. Indian spirituality forms deep connections of the mind and body inspiring the exercise of meditation, an important component to yoga. People around the world enjoy its distressing and rejuvenating benefits. Another widely known phenomena in India is the philosophy of Karma. This belief states that depending on a persons choice, good or bad, the consequence eventually comes back in full circle.
Some of the projects our HELP India teams have accomplished recently include:
- Sexual and reproductive health lessons
- Drilling borewells in slum communities
- Awareness on unnecessary hysterectomies and child marriages
- Construction of latrines across slum communities
- Training seamstresses on skills to generate additional household income
- Running summer camps
- Assisting in underserved orphanages
- Working with children and youth victimized by child labor