IMG_0226Karma yoga is the practice of selfless service. India, with all its beauty, is very poor. It is common for Westerners to see things in India that are beyond belief. This can be overwhelming at first, but often people feel deeply drawn to try and make a difference while there.

While there are many opportunities for karma yoga in places such as schools, orphanages and hospitals, many people feel overwhelmed.  To help you narrow your search, here are two amazing organizations right in Rishikesh that could really use  your time and energy.

Mother Miracle School
The Mother Miracle School in Rishikesh is a wonderful way for you to do karma yoga. Many people like to sponsor a child and become pen pals prior to the retreat, and then spend time with the sponsored child while in India. Often times the child you sponsor will become your personal tour guide in Rishikesh and their family will likely invite you to dinner at their home.
The school offers classes, meals and basic health care to some of India’s poorest children.

Ganga Action Parivar
It is not just the poverty that shocks the conscience of most visitors to India.  The pollution and litter are overwhelming.  If you have a passion for protecting the environment there are many opportunities to make a difference.   Some people simply walk around and pick up litter while other volunteer with Ganga Action Parivar, an organization which is doing amazing work to clean up the Ganges River, start recycling programs and care suffering animals.

Ramana’s Garden Children’s Home
Dedicated to the idea that every child has the right to healthy meals, a good education and basic medical care, this wonderful establishment offers karma yogis the chance to work in their restaurant, farm their organic gardens or work with the hundreds of children they serve.  In addition to the amazing work they are doing, they also have the best organic vegetarian restaurant in all of Rishikesh!