Becoming a volunteer at Rogpa is not only rewarding but is beneficial for us to help the Tibetan people living in exile achieve a life of self determination and autonomy. We currently have four ongoing projects that we are able to accept volunteers and ask for a minimum commitment of three weeks for the Baby Care Centre, and minimum of one month for all other projects.
Please Note: Although volunteers are a lot of help to the staff it is important for the new helpers to remember that Rogpa is a NGO not a tourist attraction. Mcleod Ganj is a popular tourist spot which also makes it popular for volunteering. We must remember to separate the two. We do not look down on any of the families which we help because we want everyone to feel equal in a possibly vulnerable situation. For these reasons we stick to a strict policy of no photography for the privacy of the children but also so the children and workers do not feel like they are an attraction to the new helpers. We put a focus on giving support rather than giving sympathy. Try and learn as much as you can and have fun!
How To Get Here
The closest international airport to McLeod Ganj is in Delhi therefore most of our volunteers come here from Delhi. There are few ways to do so:
- By Air: Gaggal Airport (DHM), approximately 15 km from McLeod Ganj by road. Flights are available through Delhi through Air India or Spice Jet. Flight costs vary and can be about 3,000 INR and up.
- By Bus: Overnight buses leave from Delhi and can take approximately 13 hours. Costs are around 450 INR for a basic bus and 1000 INR for a nicer Volvo.
- By Train: The closest train station to McLeod Ganj is in Pathankot, which is an overnight train journey from Delhi. You can either choose to go on another train which will then take you to Kangra which takes approximately 6 hours and is still about 18 km away from McLeod Ganj. From Kangra you need to walk or take rickshaw to the bus station which will take you to Dharamsala. Instead of dealing with different transfers, many will just hire a taxi or take the bus from Pathankot.
- By Taxi: You could hire a taxi from nearly anywhere but depending on where you are, it may become expensive.
Where To Stay
There is a wide range of accommodations in McLeod Ganj ranging from budget to luxury. Some will also give discounts for a person with a longer stay.
You can expect to pay around 200 INR to 800 INR per night for a basic double room. Some only have communal bathrooms so you may need to pay more for private.
Mid Range hotels are usually about 1000 INR to 1500 INR per night. Most will include private bathroom, TV, hot water and sometimes internet access.
For a more luxury style hotel, you can expect to pay anywhere from about 2000 INR to 7000 INR a night.
McLeod Ganj is a fairly small town so anywhere you need to go should be accessible by foot. Trips to nearby towns (Bhagsu and Dharamkot) are also accessible by foot, or you could hire a rickshaw.