Udaipur Happiness

I run a project with the goal to spread happiness in local communities in my wonderful city, Udaipur. Everyone wants to be happy but unfortunately not everybody is. That's why I'm trying to find different ways to help and spread happiness across the towns and villages in India. Everytime I talk to the poor children, the homeless and elderly and those of ill health, I feel that they have so little in the way of possessions or wealth or status or perhaps even physical strength, and yet they have so much love to give. I started to spend more time with different local communities, I began to share with them, and they too, began to share with me. I work with a great variety of individuals and larger communities - with orphaned and homeless children, with rag-pickers, with tribal girls, women who suffer domestic abuse, children with physical and emotional difficulties, and with the elderly. I feel that elderly people have so much life experience and so much to give, but sadly once they become old, nobody wants to interact with them or give them attention. They are pushed aside and forgotten. But I believe these people deserve our love and compassion, and I would like to bring happiness to them, through creativity and positive engagement. In the early morning the rag pickers collect garbage from the streets. They work long hours and in poor conditions but they are not respected or acknowledged for their work. They live together, in communities, and I visit their homes, or community halls, and play games with the children. We talk and listen to each other, laugh together, we share our life experiences and we help one another. I believe this is a two way process. We have much to bring to these communities, just as they too have much to offer us in the way of learning and compassion. I think its important to create an atmosphere of positive energy, of laughter, of sharing and of happiness. Because creativity, support and love are so good for healing any sadness, pain or frustration we can experience in life. Some scientific research shows that the level of creativity in children is much lower than what it was before. There is a lot of reasons for that, but there is also solutions. Through this project, I want to provide some kind of simple service in the way that I want to share every kind of knowledge or skills I have. I also invite you to come and work alongside me, sharing (whatever) skills you have - whether you are an artist, a musician, a crafts person, a teacher, a film maker or even a web designer. Any creative skills, circus skills, food skills, teaching skills, story telling skills, farming skills, listening skills, or simply a good open heart! I am grateful and open to all types of ideas and contributions! I really look forward to hearing from you and finding news ways in which, together, we can create and share a little bit of happiness around the world! :)

My name is Rama and I am from Udaipur in Rajasthan, India. :-) I leave with my mom and my two brothers and we love to receive volunteers from all over the world. Our house is 15 minutes from central Udaipur by car or bus. It is a non tourist area, so you will be living alongside local people. The house is shared with my mom and my two younger brothers (23 and 25) who are very kind and warm people. However sometimes they go to our village and we have the house to ourselves. I provide my volunteers with one kitchen, three bedrooms only for guests [up to three in each room], a basic shower, sink and toilet and a very nice rooftop terrass. In my tradition, cooking is a communal activity in which we all involve together. My mother and me will teach you tradtional rajasthani meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Ingredients are provided by me. In fact, nobody can leave this house before being a rajasthani cooking master :)

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