As a medical volunteer in India with PMGY, you will have a fantastic opportunity to gain first-hand experience and insight into Indian health care. Medical volunteers in India work with highly trained local staff. This gives individuals exposure and tuition that you are unlikely to obtain in your own country. If you are thinking of studying or even pursuing a career in healthcare, joining PMGY’s India medical programs will offer you essential first-hand experience that will assist in your career development.
MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.3 – GOOD HEALTH
WORK INSIDE SLUM CLINICS ON PMGY’S TOP-RATED MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
HAVE A LARGE EXPOSURE TO A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT HEALTHCARE SETTINGS
LEARN FROM LOCAL DOCTORS & MEDICAL STAFF & GET INVOLVED IN SUPPORTING THEM
STRUCTURED WEEKEND TRIPS TO THE TAJ MAHAL & JAIPUR
BACKGROUND TO THE MEDICAL PROGRAM
Despite advances in India’s healthcare system, the majority of the population still experience poor health. This is largely due to a lack of awareness of health issues. Additionally, many Indians simply cannot afford regular, if any, medical treatment. The projects we support therefore offer free, or highly subsidised, healthcare to local people from slum and rural communities.
Our main project for India medical volunteers focuses on supporting medical camps within slum communities. In these areas, there is a prominent lack of health education and access to medical help. To contribute to improving this, we have established our own primary healthcare clinic, running all year round in the heart of the core slum community we support. Additionally, our team establish pop-up clinics across some of the local area’s poorest communities. This helps to ensure our team and international volunteers are able to make the biggest impact possible.
As a medical volunteer in India, you will have the opportunity to experience a variety of different medical facilities. This can range from shadowing in surgeries to sitting in on GP consultations. We offer medical placements for people of all backgrounds. Therefore if you’re a school leaver looking for work experience to boost your university application we can accommodate you. Alternatively, if you’re a nursing/medical student organising an overseas elective placement, we also have you covered. Our medical project in India is considered one of the best places to volunteer abroad.
MEDICAL VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
Eco-School Slum Clinic – The healthcare clinics we run really are the core of the medical volunteer project in India. Our main clinic is based in our Eco Slum School. The centre acts as the main point of health access for the local community. This is particularly important since individuals here may not otherwise have access to any other form of healthcare. Our medical staff can see anywhere from 40-100 patients daily. There are two clinics where doctors undergo consultancies – one general and one gynaecology. There is also a lab.
The gynaecology clinic is a newer development, with hopes of further expansion in the future. This clinic provides women from the local community with education about female health. We have also developed our own lab at the program. Here, the lab technician carries a variety of health checks. This often includes testing urine glucose levels, blood type and for pregnancy. Since the clinics are located within the slum school, medical volunteers in India will also have the opportunity to engage with the local children. Individuals can even try teaching English!
Whilst it cannot be guaranteed, medical volunteers in India may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement. This may include taking blood pressure, blood sugars and dressing minor wounds. This is all undertaken under the supervision of the staff you will be attached to during your time. The local staff are extremely welcoming and very keen for volunteers to learn. Although the patient interactions will be in Hindi, the doctors speak English and will explain everything to you in English.
Slum Outreach Health Campaigns – PMGY periodically run free medical camps across other poor communities in Faridabad. The slums we work in at any point in time are dictated by the communities that have the greatest need. Additionally, during the summer months, we receive higher numbers of participants. This often allows us to run these outreach campaigns as an extension of the Eco-School Slum Clinic operation. These campaigns are designed to offer primary healthcare and medical check-ups to members of local slum communities.
We hire a local doctor to lead the campaigns and supervise volunteers. Our team also supply the relevant medical supplies and equipment needed. An interpreter is also recruited to help PMGY India medical volunteers overcome the language barrier when interacting with patients.
We welcome medical volunteers of all backgrounds to join this medical volunteer abroad program. Participants often have the chance to learn basic skills. This might include taking blood pressures, checking blood sugars and assisting doctors in seeing the patients. You will also get the chance to see and learn about interesting clinical signs and syndromes typically found in slum communities. Volunteers receive ongoing training and mentoring from the local doctor, enabling each participant to get as involved as possible. The range of health conditions encountered in the slums is vast. Although many patients only have simple problems, there are many that would benefit immensely from specialist input.
Shadowing in a Hospital Setting – We have a number of hospitals within our network. Generally speaking, volunteers will have the opportunity to shadow within hospital departments. Here, individuals may be able to carry out basic health checks on patients during doctor’s rounds. Common departments volunteers in India will be placed within include ultrasound, paediatrics, ophthalmology, non-urgent care and theatre.
Medical volunteers in India can also witness surgeries. However, these are on an ad-hoc basis. You will, therefore, be notified a day in advance or even on the day, once the surgeries have been confirmed. Naturally, we cannot guarantee those specific surgeries will take place. In any case, it can be a real eye-opening experience to see the difference between hospitals in India compared to those at home.
GP Clinic – Here, participants have the opportunity to work alongside a local doctor. Medical volunteers will assist in carrying out basic health checks on members of the local community in a bustling street market. Usually, the doctor sees up to 100 patients daily. The clinic can run in both morning and late evening time, usually around 2-3 hours each session. This may allow for basic hands-on involvement if volunteers choose to undertake such an opportunity.
STUDENT ELECTIVE OPPORTUNITIES
We are able to provide specialist elective placements for students in India. Students looking to enjoy a unique overseas elective experience can do so with PMGY. Learn directly from health professionals in medical settings like no other. As a medical volunteer in India, you can specify during the online application process which clinical elective you wish to undertake. More specifically, highlight your elective experience in the ‘Special Requirements’ section of the online application. The PMGY India team will then have everything planned and in place for your elective in India.
Medical – Gain practical medical experience and insight on your medical elective in India. Work alongside local doctors in outreach work to support some of Delhi’s poorest people. Build cultural connections and learn directly from doctors as you play a leading role in supporting the slum outreach health campaigns. Shadow clinics and consultations and conduct basic health checks as we provide free medical care to slum communities. Observe surgeries and compare hospital standards to home. Get hands-on at GP clinics in the ultimate medical elective placement.
Nursing – Your nursing elective in India is full of variety. For example, shadowing nurses in hospitals, supporting slum outreach medical camps and assisting doctors with healthcare checks at community clinics. Throughout your nursing placement, you will learn from the healthcare professionals about healthcare practises in India. Furthermore, you will learn about the prevalent diseases in the local area. Observe numerous departments including paediatrics, emergency and neurology and make your nursing elective in India one not to forget!
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL WORK DAY
As a volunteer in India, most participants in the medical program will have the chance to experience a number of different facilities. On a volunteer trip to India, our main placement base will be within the health campaign programs that we operate in the slum communities. India medical volunteers can expect to work 3-5 hours in the morning. This will usually be from 9:30am-1pm. Surgeries may be available for observation at any time of the day. Afternoons may be used to engage in hospital placements, the India childcare program or explore Delhi.
It is advised, where possible, that volunteers spend a minimum of three days on a specific placement. Doing this allows relationships with the staff to be made, often leading to increased exposure and responsibility. However, this will ultimately be dependent on the level/qualifications of volunteers.
PMGY’s India volunteer program has its own private transport network that will transfer you to and from the projects every day. You will travel to and from the project by either tuk-tuk or minivan. This service is included in your Program Fee.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER AS A MEDICAL VOLUNTEER IN INDIA
Top PMGY Medical Program – The medical volunteer work in India is rated as our top overseas medical program across all PMGY destinations. This is due to the exposure our participants get and the range of projects involved. The program is not only for general medicine and nursing students but also for all those with health-related interests. This opportunity is available to school leavers and those who have never studied medicine before. This is the ultimate experience to make a positive impact within poor communities, regardless of your experience.
Hands-On Involvement – Your level of involvement at the medical volunteer abroad projects is dictated by a range of factors. First of all your medical experience, but also the duration of program and willingness to get involved. The medical staff are accountable for you whilst you’re under their supervision. Ultimately, it is completely up to them if you are permitted and want to get involved in hands-on procedures.
Previous PMGY medical volunteer in India participants have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc. However, please note we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement regardless of medical experience or background.
Generally speaking those with little or no medical experience assume a largely observational role. If you are studying a medically related degree, then you should have more opportunity to undertake some more basic hands-on involvement. However, to reiterate we can never guarantee or endorse hands-on experience should you choose to get hands-on. Such a decision ultimately lies with the medical staff.
Trained Professionals – Please note this program is not suitable for trained professionals who are looking to practise overseas. This opportunity is only suitable for school leavers & medical students looking to go into the medical or nursing field and wish to learn about a healthcare system overseas.
Group Medical Trips – PMGY provide affordable group trips to India for academic institutions and societies from around the world. From only 699 GBP per person (group leaders travel free), our 15 day trip to India is fully structured, inclusive and led by our experienced team. Organising an overseas trip for large groups involves lots of preparation. From flights and insurance to pre-trip training and that’s even before you’ve looked at organising the itinerary! So that’s where PMGY come in. We really do specialise in the group’s overseas expedition area providing exclusive group trips whilst accommodating large groups of students, on full board options. We guarantee to provide trusted and vetted medical project settings that provide great insight, exposure and learning opportunities for students.
Project Flexibility – There may be an opportunity as a volunteer in India to get involved with other India volunteer programs. However, there may be instances where this would lead to overcrowding on these volunteering experiences, and thus limited project work opportunity. Therefore, such flexibility on a volunteer trip to India is not always possible. Priority will always be given to those signed up to that specific program in India.
Weekends – Your project work in India runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our India Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend. We also run two separate weekend trips which you can sign-up to before you depart for India. We offer the Dharamshala Trip along with the Golden Triangle Trip.
Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?
Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.
Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other travel organisations?
The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.
Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. There, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.
Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.
What are the requirements to volunteer in India?
PMGY welcomes medical volunteers in India of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 17 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak Hindi. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in India will go a long way.
All medical volunteers in India must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.
Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.
What date should I arrive and leave the India volunteer program?
For your volunteer trip to India, you should book your flights to Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi on the Sunday start date. The airport code is DEL You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The program ends on the Sunday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.
When is the best time of year to volunteer in India?
Feedback from medical volunteers in India often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community.
Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer in India?
In order to join as a medical volunteer in India, you need to be at least 17 on the program start date. Generally, the average age range of volunteers is 17-25.
There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 17-25 age range.
When should I apply to be a medical volunteer in India?
For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.
Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 60 days prior to your start date.
What duration would you recommend to volunteering for?
Based on feedback from previous medical volunteers in India, we believe that 4-6 weeks is the ideal amount of time to volunteer in India. Consequently, this means that you have enough time to integrate into the local community and really get involved in a project. For one thing, you will be able to make a positive impact on community development. Additionally, you will have a greater opportunity to explore during your weekends. Medical volunteers in India who join us for 2 weeks frequently tell us that this was long enough and wish they had stayed for longer!
For those looking to potentially join us for a longer period, we recommend checking out our Encounter Programs that offer a 2-4 week stay across 3-10 destinations.
Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?
You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.
The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.
When you join the medical volunteer in India program, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.
When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.
When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?
In order to confirm your place as a medical volunteer in India, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Payments made in advance of the 60 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.
Can I use the medical program as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to be a medical volunteer in India as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that the medical volunteer program will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements. In addition, we can arrange international school trips to India.
First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after a medical volunteer in India has confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff on the medical volunteer in India project can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.
BEFORE YOU DEPART
Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?
With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the India volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.
We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that medical volunteers in India set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.
PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
Can I raise money for the projects?
The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.
If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For medical volunteers in India looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.
How do I register for your online webinars?
Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide volunteers in India with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.
For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.
For medical volunteers in India who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.
Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.
Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.
Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?
It is possible that as a medical volunteer in India, you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work in India. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights to volunteer in India?
When you apply to be a medical volunteer in India, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as a medical volunteer in India has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.
After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We have partnered up with the insurance company Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.
How do I obtain a background check?
To become a medical volunteer in India, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.
If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.
If you don’t have a valid DBS check , then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as a medical volunteer in India.
For medical volunteers in India from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.
For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.
When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?
All volunteers in India will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare as a medical volunteer in India. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Skype, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!
ON YOUR TRIP
Can I arrange a private room?
All of our accommodation options on the India volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our medical volunteers in India.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as a medical volunteer in India. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?
We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore In such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers in India with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. In addition to this, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.
What is the dress code at the projects?
Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. Our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival into India.
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like manner, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. There, our Volunteer Handbooks outline preferred dress-codes in detail.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a medical volunteer in India can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as a medical volunteer in India, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!
Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment as a medical volunteer in India.
On the India volunteer program, you will live in our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based within the centre of Faridabad – a satellite city, located around 15 miles south of India’s capital Delhi. Our main India volunteer programs are also located in this region. There are a number of restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs only a walk or short tuk-tuk journey away from the Volunteer House.
As a volunteer in India, you will be living with other international volunteers. Consequently, you will find that the Volunteer House is large, basic but comfortable. Bedrooms conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 8 people per room. Each bedroom is provided with fans and individuals will be provided with their own bed linen. During the winter months, participants are also recommended to bring additional bedding, such as a sleeping bag. Bathrooms at the Volunteer House are communal, with a western-style toilet and shower. There is no hot-water in the accommodation.
There is free Wi-Fi within the house, however, this can be intermittent. Volunteers in India are therefore also recommended to purchase a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. Throughout the accommodation are numerous communal areas for international volunteers to relax and socialise. There is also a large space for handwashing to be completed, and for clothes to be hung. Alternatively, a laundry service is available for a nominal fee. Individuals on a volunteer trip to India are recommended to bring a small padlock. Any valuables can also be stored with our local team, however, volunteers are encouraged to only bring essential items during their volunteer work in India. Furthermore, there is a fridge space within the accommodation for volunteers to cool items they need to keep chilled. Please note that power cuts are fairly commonplace in India, although they tend not to last more than a couple of hours.
The Volunteer House is located on the same quarters as the wonderful host family who coordinates our projects in India. There is a clear divide between the two houses, however, international volunteers still have regular interaction with our local coordinators. Most of our volunteer projects in India are not within walking distance of the Volunteer House. In these cases, our local team will, therefore, transport you to and from the project each day. The cost of this service is included in your Programm Fee. Transport to our volunteering opportunities in India may be via tuk-tuk or minivan.
During our busiest months (June to September), you may be placed at alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.
During your volunteer trip to India, you will be served three freshly prepared meals per day. Most meals are traditional Indian dishes. Typically, these are made up of vegetarian ingredients. Our team do their best to ensure that dishes are not too spicy, however, remain flavoursome. On occasion, the local team will prepare western dishes, such as pasta and vegetarian burgers. Filtered water is also available at the accommodation free of charge.
* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
* These fees apply to each individual application.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge.
If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 3% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.
OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME – 40 USD
PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in India works as follows –
🇰🇪 Kenya – 40 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to India and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.
🇮🇳 India – 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don’t have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.
🇺🇸 USA – 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.
This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.