New Delhi

With growth rates above 5% over the past two decades, India is one of the fast growing economies. With its estimated population of 1.27 billion people, the country also faces many socio-economic challenges, where millions of its citizens live in extreme poverty, either in city slums or rural villages, with some estimates indicating more than 21.9% of the population living on $1.25 per day, or less.

India has a robust civil society with many non-profit organisations actively involved in efforts to reduce poverty and improve the living conditions of the most poor.  Our host organisations work in community development, gender, human rights, prevention of cruelty to animals, anti-trafficking, education, substance abuse and youth at risk, amongst other sectors. They all provide valuable life-changing services and care to some of the most marginalised and disenfranchised people of India.

When to Visit

if i could… arranges internships throughout the year, though the ideal time to visit New Delhi is from October to March when the weather is at its best. During this period flowers are blooming, the weather is pleasant and enjoyable. The hottest months of the year are late May and June, during which time the average high temperatures are in the high 30s °C  (low 100s °F), with June being the hottest month. The coldest months are December to February, during which time the average low temperatures are in the single digits (mid to upper 40s °F). The monsoon season in New Delhi changes but is usually in July. During this time the high temperatures are around 35° (in the 90s °F), the humidity is very high and rainstorms are frequent. Monsoons are a glorious time of celebration in India as the rains bring a welcome respite from the summer heat.

Transport

New Delhi is a major international gateway. It’s also a centre for domestic travel, with extensive bus, rail and air connections. The main options for public transportation include the new metro system, buses and taxis. The New Delhi metro system officially opened in 2002, and has been touted as Asia’s best rapid-transit system. Public buses serving New Delhi are cheap and have many available routes, although they can be hot and crowded. While there are thousands of private taxicabs operating in the city and they are not hard to find, auto rickshaws (a.k.a. auto, tuk tuk, rickshaw) are aplenty and less than half the cost of taxis. But be warned, you must negotiate a fare before setting foot in one. They come in handy if you are using the metro, and are essential for going the last mile – the distance from your metro station exit and your final destination.

Whether using taxis or rickshaws, a foreign tourist will invariably be offered by the driver for ‘some excellent shopping at very cheap prices’. Avoid using your taxi driver as your shopping expert at all costs. They get a cut from the shopkeepers and have little incentive to take you to the most reliable shops. Be prepared to bargain for the best price. It may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s all part of the experience.

The New Delhi experience

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