Country Profile

Our India programme is based in the peaceful village of Dharamsala in the foothills of the Indian Himalayas. Dharamsala is surrounded by the magnificent snow-clad Dhauladhar mountain range, and overlooks the fertile Kangra Valley below.

Dharamsala was the favourite summer retreat of British Viceroys, and the area provides spectacular mountain scenery, lakes, and forests.

The area has strong Buddhist roots, dating back 2,700 years and the Kangra Valley is rich with unexplored Buddhist archaeological sites.

Politics and Religion

India is one of the world's oldest civilisations, yet a young nation. It is the second most populous country in the world. India is the world's largest democracy and consists of 29 states, with New Delhi the nation's capital. Parliamentary elections are held every five years. The country has a fast-growing and powerful economy.

India is a secular state with a strong tradition of religious freedom that dates back to 304 BC under the reign of King Piyadasi. World Religions peacefully co-exist here, to the extent where up to 3 religions share some of the same deities and temples!

Fair Trade

The 'Fair Trade' movement is now in over 60 countries and provides farmers and workers in developing countries with better prices, decent working conditions, and encourages local sustainability.

In the Himalayas, we will meet founders of Fair Trade cooperatives, and learn how Fair Trade can provide millions of producers with improved socio-economic status. This includes being able to send their children to school, often for the first time in their family history.

Environmental Sustainability

In Dharamsala, we can learn about environmental sustainability throughout India, the Himalayas, and on the Tibetan plateau. These regions play a crucial role in regulating Asia's weather and rivers. We learn about the impact of global warming and the role of the United Nations, working with different countries to protect the environment.

We will also be directly helping a UK charity support children and families who have been displaced from their homes in Rajasthan, due to climate change and desertification.

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