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Volunteer with GapGuru teaching slum children in Kolkata and experience the biggest festival in Bengal

Thursday 17th February 2011

Gap years are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture, and GapGuru volunteers teaching in India have the opportunity to experience the exoticism and excitement of the many religious festivals India has to offer.

GapGuru runs a range of volunteer projects in India, where their teaching programmes aim to bring education to the poorest sections of society. In Kolkata, gap year volunteers can work with local NGOs and teach slum and street children in underprivileged communities.

Those travelling to teach in India can help schools by providing teaching support for local teachers. As a volunteer teaching in Kolkata you will have the opportunity to plan your own lessons and are encouraged to stimulate your pupils through interactive learning and fun activities.

Volunteering in Kolkata during the autumn months of September and October can be particularly special, as this coincides with the celebration of Durga Puja, the biggest festival in Bengal.

While the Durga Puja is celebrated across Bengal, Hindus travel from across India to celebrate it in Kolkata, and the city becomes awash with festivities. Over 2,000 richly decorated pandals are erected across Kolkata and at night the city has a carnival atmosphere, as traffic comes to a standstill and the streets are adorned with lights.

Volunteers teaching slum children in Kolkata in the autumn months are perfectly placed to experience this extraordinary festival, which can be just one part of a memorable gap year abroad.