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Volunteering in South India with the Irula Tribe


Since 1986, near Mahabalipuram in South India, the Irula Tribal Women Welfare Society (ITWWS) has been supporting the Irula Indian tribe through education, the defence of women's rights and the promotion of their culture. The Irulas are renowned for their knowledge of nature and medicinal plants. Unfortunately, these people face major socio-economic difficulties in today's India, with very limited access to health, education and political life. Against this backdrop, the ITWWS is striving to promote their cultural wealth.

In partnership with HumanTrip India, ITWWS will welcome you as a volunteer and involve you in the many activities carried out by the organisation to enable you to discover and share in the daily lives of the Irulas.

Prices are variable and should be requested from the agency

Length of stay

15 days / 13 nights

Minimum number of participants

Privatised trip from 1 person
Customisable programme


A humanitarian programme open to all!
Immersion in a cool corner of South India
Departures all year round, from one person upwards

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Day 1

Flight Paris-Madras

Flight Paris-Madras

Departure from Paris on a scheduled flight. Arrival in Madras during the night where you will be met and transferred to your 3* hotel in Madras.

Overnight at the hotel.

Day 2

Madras Chennai

Unusual tour of Chennai and transfer to ITWWS

Unusual tour of Chennai and transfer to ITWWS

After breakfast, departure for an unusual tour of CHENNAI, accompanied by women auto-rickshaw drivers trained by the SPEED Trust. Discover the Kalakshetra dance school or the Egmore museum (see the film: http:www.celestissima.orgsmallthingsdes-taxis-en-sari-france).
Continue on to the Ramakrishna temple and the church of Saint Thomas, where you can hopefully attend a mass. This is also the site of the tomb of the apostle Saint Thomas.
Lunch, followed by a visit to a Bharathnatyam school (on school days)

You'll end your day with a stroll along the seafront, where you'll have the chance to do some additional shopping.

Transfer to Mahabalipuram and welcome at the ITWWS. Dinner and overnight in a guest room in the village.

Days 3 to 14

Activities at ITWWS

Activities at ITWWS

Among other activities:

You will be involved in the various ITWWS projects: medicinal plant cultivation, craft workshop, Adivasi library and research centre (over 6,000 books, journals and articles relating to studies on tribal societies and their medicinal and social traditions).
You'll discover the traditions, history, beliefs, arts and cuisine of the Irulas and help to promote their cause.
You will take part in activities with the children of the Irula village (sports, artistic activities, etc.).
You set off to discover the Thandarai region (forest treks, visit to Mahabalipuram, etc.).

Days 15 & 16


Return to France

Return to France

Breakfast and transfer to Madras airport. Boarding and flight to France.

Arrival in Paris the following day.

Price per person from €1,400 incl. VAT

- Based on 2 participants

This price includes :

  • Transportation (all taxes included) on Emirates from Paris*.
  • Return airport transfers.
  • The first night in Chennai.
  • Meals and bed and breakfast accommodation (double room basis).
  • A day exploring Chennai in a Rickshaw.
  • Solidarity activities to be defined with the local team.
  • A donation to the organisations visited.
  • Luggage assistance and repatriation insurance.

At your expense :

  • Visa fees (67€ to date).
  • Personal expenses and activities not explicitly mentioned in the programme.
  • Any other excursions or expenses not mentioned in the price.
  • Photo and camera rights on certain sites.
  • Single supplement: + €180
  • Supplement for a 1-month humanitarian stay: + €535

* Price from Paris. Please contact us for any other departure city.

For a group request (from 10 people) or to customize your trip, please contact us.


Accommodation in a 3* hotel in Madras, then in a guest room (double occupancy) in the village.

Climate and equipment

South India enjoys a tropical monsoon climate that is hot and humid for much of the year, with daily temperatures frequently exceeding 40°C during the summer. The region experiences most of its wet season during the north-east monsoon from September to December.


Be in possession of a certificate of good physical health.
To date, no vaccinations are compulsory. We do, however, recommend: cholera, hepatitis B and DT Polio. Anti-malaria recommended.
Water: drink only bottled mineral water.
More information on the Pasteur website.


For your trip to India, you will need a passport that is valid for six months beyond the date of your return. You will need to obtain a visa from the new office responsible for issuing visas since the beginning of 2008. We will be happy to help you with all the formalities.
Our partner for your visa procedures: VISA FIRST
A special number dedicated to Human Trip clients:
For each visa given to our partner, 1€ is donated to our association
More information on the France Diplomatie website.

Our opinion

A human and cultural programme accessible to all, combining business with pleasure.
During your stay, you'll share the daily life of endearing villagers in a cool corner of South India.
The women's organisation you are joining has won a number of official awards, including the National Tourism Award for the best NGO in sustainable tourism in 2006 and 2007.

The + humans trip

- A 100% immersion programme supervised by a French-speaking correspondent

- An exceptional tour of Chennai by women auto-rickshaw drivers trained by the SPEED Trust.

- Participatory activities within ITWWS

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Non-contractual data sheet

  • respect for human and responsible values
  • the guarantee of a tailor-made trip
  • seamless support from our teams
  • the useful journey allowing the development
  • a safe journey
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