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Volunteer with Manav Sadhna

Embark on a Journey of Transformation

Over the last 30 years, hundreds of volunteers from India and around the world have served with us, giving their time, talent and love to empower communities. They volunteer with us anywhere from one month to countless years. In return, volunteers have a meaningful and transformative experience connecting with the community, learning more about themselves and experiencing the profound joy of helping others. They become part of a global family connected by these shared experiences and the spirit of service.

What to Expect

We are grateful for your consideration to volunteer with MS. The volunteer experience at MS is as much about the inner journey as it is the service journey. We believe that every small action done with love gradually leads to meaningful change and transformation—around us and within us. We encourage volunteers to slow down and take the time to connect with the communities and engage in deep, meaningful relationships.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

We try our best to place volunteers in roles based on their interests, but placement is dependent on the needs of the organization at the given time. Volunteer roles include, but are not limited to :

Assisting with field surveys

Writing and designing reports

Running computer workshops

Play-teaching our preschool children

Developing learning content and materials

Teaching English classes as part of our education program

Helping conduct arts, dance and/or music classes/workshops

Assisting with our sports program

Accompanying patients to hospitals

Photography and Story documentation

Offering time, care and support to the elderly

Joining on house visits for awareness and health programs

Developing thematic materials for center and classroom decorations

Developing and facilitating confidence-building activities for adolescent girls

Volunteer Requirements & Application

We thank you for considering volunteering with MS. To participate in our volunteer program please note the following volunteer requirements:

Housing and Food

We provide simple volunteer housing, located close to the main MS campus. The volunteer homes are separate for men and women and have equipped kitchens.

We prepare a simple vegetarian lunch everyday (except Sundays) for our volunteers at the MS kitchen. Volunteers must arrange for their other meals.

Volunteer Home Rules

  • Absolutely No Alcohol or Drug Use Permitted
  • Observe Vegetarian Diet (at MS and Volunteer Housing)
  • Live Simply and Be Mindful of Others
  • Be Responsible for Daily Housekeeping and Cleaning of Volunteer Accommodation

Volunteer FAQ

Vaccinations and Medicines: Contact your local travel clinic for information on vaccinations and medicines that should be brought to India.

Visas: According to recent government changes, foreign nationals entering India to volunteer with a registered NGO must obtain an employment visa for more six months. However, different visas are required for different nationalities and also depend on what kind of travel/research/volunteerism you intend to carry out during your time in India. Please see the Indian Consulate website for your home country for more details.

Money: Visa and MasterCard are accepted by most ATMs. You may also bring your home country’s currency to be exchanged once you arrive. Travelers’ checks are accepted by most banks but the conversion process may take some time. Check with your bank for more details.

Travel Insurance: All volunteers must purchase travel health insurance that covers their time at Manav Sadhna. You must submit a copy before your arrival.

Arrival Dates: Please send us a copy of your ticket with your arrival dates and any number we can reach you at through WhatsApp (if you have something) so that we know when to pick you up, prepare housing and plan your orientation. In the case of ticket changes or cancellation, please let us know immediately.

Post-Arrival Registration with Police: All foreign nationals who have a visa and plan to stay for more than 180 days must register at the local Foreigner’s Registration Office (FRO) within 14 days of their arrival in India. Manav Sadhna will arrange for the registration with the local FRO upon your arrival in Ahmedabad.

Orientation: We officially initiate volunteers in a three day orientation process, in which we welcome volunteers and gets you situated and familiarized with Manav Sadhna, housing and volunteer guidelines. At the end of the three days, we finalize your volunteer project(s).
We provide airport pick-up. Someone from the Manav Sadhna family will pick you up from the airport and see you to the volunteer house. However, you need to send us your arrival ticket and WhatsApp number (if available) in advance so that we may coordinate the pick-up.
Yes, you can extend your visa with the proper application and submission of fees at the FRO (Foreign Registration Office). Our coordinators can help you with the process
All volunteers serving for a minimum of one month will be placed in one of our volunteer houses. We have separate houses for women and men. If a couple wishes to stay together, they must organize their own accommodation. The volunteer residences have shared rooms with simple furniture, bathrooms and a functional kitchen. Bedding is provided. The volunteer houses are based in the Gandhi Ashram, walking distance from Manav Sadhna. There is a grocery store, general store, vegetable market, several pharmacies, several restaurants, a cyber café and a few hotels all within 10 minute walking distance of the homes.
We have two women’s volunteer houses with a capacity of 5 people each. The men’s volunteer house can accommodate up to 4 individuals.
We provide volunteers a vegetarian Gujarati meal for lunch from Monday-Saturday. Volunteers are responsible for breakfast, dinner and Sunday lunch. We encourage volunteers to cook as all of the volunteer accommodations are stocked with a functional kitchen and a fridge. In addition to the several restaurants and eateries in the vicinity, there is a small family-run restaurant called Parikalp that makes a simple Gujarati vegetarian thali for a nominal price.
Manav Sadhna does not charge volunteers for volunteering, housing, or lunch. Although we do not ask volunteers to pay for their experience, please pay it forward by contributing to our volunteer program so that others may also have the same experience. Your contribution helps cover the monthly electricity bill, maintenance costs, housing and food expenses.
Most of Manav Sadhna’s work takes place in the field. Our centers include: Manav Jatan -Ramapir no Tekro (walking distance from the Gandhi Ashram); Manav Gulzar-Ram Rahim Tekra (a 30 minute bus ride from Manav Sadhna); Loving Community-Vastral (accessible by public transportation), Manav Seva-Shankar Bhuvan (reachable by rickshaw) and Manav Mitra-Sabarmati (accessible by shared rickshaws and BRTS). Our anganwadis are either walking distance or a short rickshaw ride away. Where possible, especially for long distances, we organize transportation. However, we may not always have available transportation and ask volunteers to be adaptable and resourceful when necessary.
Manav Sadhna is a 10 minute walk from the BRTS (Bus Rapid Transportation System) station, which conveniently connects a lot of the city. A major bus station is located in Vadaj, also a 10 minute walk, from where volunteers can find buses connecting them to most major parts of the city. Private rickshaws are also easily accessible. Uber and Ola are also easily available as long as you download the app.
Most visitors to India will deal with a bout of something or another as your immune system adapts to the new environment and new bacteria. It is important to be careful about the water you drink and to eat hygienic foods to avoid most sicknesses. The city is prone to mosquito-borne diseases during certain seasons, so please carry mosquito repellant and light, long-sleeve clothing. In the case you do fall sick, please let us know so that we can take you to visit a doctor. If you prefer a second opinion from another doctor or other facilities, we can guide you on where to go. Volunteers are responsible for covering their medical expenses. All volunteers must purchase Travel Health Insurance that covers the duration of your time at Manav Sadhna. We are familiar with hospitals that accept Travel Health Insurance.
Our volunteer coordinators will help you organize a SIM card. You have to bring the cell phone with you or purchase one from here. You will be issued a letter from Manav Sadhna to get the SIM card. The card is given on our name for a validity of 3 months. You need 2 passport size photos, copy of your passport and visas and the letter from Manav Sadhna.
Generally, Ahmedabad is a safe and friendly city, even for single women. We do ask, however, that you practice the same mindfulness that you would in any city and don’t go out alone at night or wander into dark alleyways by yourself and avoid uncomfortable situations. Also, while in the field, it is important to observe the cultural norms in how you dress and act to avoid disrespecting anyone or instigating any unwanted attention. For women, stares and catcalls are normal; however, if you ignore them, they do not generally evolve into anything more significant. Despite the city’s reputation for communal disharmony, the city has not witnessed any major riots in the last decade. However, we do ask that you register with your Consulate in the case of any natural disaster or strife in the city.
We accept volunteer applications forms from 15 years and older. If your children are younger than that, we request that they are accompanied by a parent of elder sibling. Please send us an email at with the details and we can explore the possibility.
We generally encourage volunteers to serve full time at Manav Sadhna; however you can send an email to with your requirements and we can explore the possibility.
You can read more about volunteer opportunities here.
Fill out the application form and submit it. Our volunteer coordinators will look at the available spaces of the dates requested. Based on availability, we will send you a confirmation email or then ask you to apply for different dates.
Yes, it has wireless connection available between 10-6, though the service is not always dependable. There is no internet service available at the volunteer’s home. You can ask to the volunteer coordinators for the prepaid internet dongles or use hotspot from your phone.
Manav Sadhna is proud to have an ever-growing global family. Volunteers come from all corners of the world, with most people coming from the US, UK, Europe and Australia and local volunteers and interns from across India.

Get Your Team Volunteering Today

Schools, Institutions and Companies

Do you want your students or team to grow in empathy, mindfulness and service? Do you want to help them find more meaning in their lives? Do you want to contribute to building a more compassionate, peaceful and just society? If yes, we welcome you to join The Human Transformation Project (THTP), in collaboration with Tarsadia Foundation.

Launched in 2021, based on 30 years of insight and expertise in volunteerism, we have curated this initiative to engage local youth and young adults in service as a means for inner and social transformation. The program nurtures connectivity and empathy, builds character and perspective and helps bridge the gap between different socioeconomicbackgrounds. It is open to local schools, universities and corporations and includes an orientation, grassroots volunteering, interaction with leaders from the field, reflection sessions and a debrief. To get involved or learn more, please contact us at

Volunteer Voices

“From the second I walked into Manav Sadhna, I felt love and positive vibes surrounding me. Every day I got to spend time with the most beautiful souls, whether they were the teachers, kids, other volunteers, or staff of MS. After one year I got so close and attached to all of them that it made saying goodbye really hard. Learning from all of you helped me to grow into a stronger and more compassionate person. I am so grateful for this year and I am full of love and joy. I will carry all these special moments and memories in my heart. I will miss this place, but I will be back.”

Jasmin Khal VIA.eV Fellow from Germany, 2018

“My time at Manav Sadhna has been one of the most intense, humbling and enlightening experiences of my life. I came to learn so many things about myself, but most importantly about the kindness of human beings, and how to utilse this beautiful attribute to understand and make the changes required in the world I wish to live in.”

Fernando Grajeda Chile, 2013

“Manav Sadhna and the Earn N Learn initiative hold a special place in my heart. I not only got the opportunity to explore and learn about the integration of art with social development, but I also got to witness and learn what it truly means to be a part of a values-centric community service organisation. My experience was wholesome, enriching and humbling. I am grateful to MS for welcoming me into their community.”

Sudiksha Patil Ahmedabad, 2021

“What an enriching experience it has been! Six weeks have gone by so quickly with lots of exploring, both in the Manav Sadhna ecosystem and in Ahmedabad as a city. I have been embraced by the loving arms of MS and am leaving with a bigger heart as a result…I am inspired to bring the MS way to other parts of the world!”

Chi Phan United Kingdom, 2019

“It is hard to describe how incredible the last month has been here. I worked mostly at the Shakti Center (Manav Seva), and the entire experience was beautiful. These girls at the Shakti Center had so much energy, positivity and kindness to share not only with each other but with anyone with whom they interacted. The work Manav Sadhna is doing every day at every center is truly inspirational, and I am beyond thankful to have been able to immerse with the team and experience their work firsthand. Thank you to the staff, teachers and all the children. You all welcomed me with open arms and tremendous love. I hope to continue my work with MS in the future and can’t wait to see how far organization and its children go.”

Deesha Desai United States, 2020

To become part of the MS family has been one of the most gratifying and rewarding experiences of my life. The extraordinary generosity, sincerity, openness and kindness which is displayed by everyone at MS creates a bubble you find difficult to leave. I’d come to MS to look help build Bholu 11 as part of the Anganwadi Project, but I found myself involved in so much more, and loving every day of it. The process of creating friendships and working every day in tandem with the amazing community, has left me overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of those who have so little, giving so much. I had planned to stay a couple of weeks to a month, however this somehow morphed into 3 months… and even now I feel I am just getting started! The experience, friendships and spirit gained from these past months has left me with the desire to return here as soon as possible. In India there is ‘no sorry and no thank you’… but thank you anyway Manav Sadhna and all the wonderful people there.

David Heymann, Volunteer from TAP Australia, May 2012

“My three months in Manav Sadhna’s volunteer program have been unlike anything I have ever experienced and its hard to imagine I will ever witness so much again…It was truly an honor to work on an MS documentary and I was blown away at each story of internal and external transformation. MS doesn’t change people or communities; it inspires and gives support for people to change themselves. And once that seed is planted, each person can go on and continue to inspire change.”

Jenny Love United States, 2013

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