India: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Social Justice

Learn about modern and traditional healthcare practices in Indian communities while exploring larger social issues related to public health access on a summer abroad.

Global Youth Congress 2015Travel from New Delhi to Bahraich and from Agra to Dharamsala, experiencing how urban and rural Indian communities use traditional health practices on this high school summer abroad program. Gain important insight into state-administered and grassroots approaches to improving access to public healthcare, especially with relation to women, children, tribes, and other marginalized communities. During your participation in a weeklong workshop, you will investigate the realities of public health services in India and learn how health-focused NGOs around the country are working to educate communities and actively engage the government on matters of social justice and policy advocacy.

Your journey begins in New Delhi, India’s capital, where you will receive Hindi language instruction, visit the Gandhi memorial, and explore Dilli Haat—a famous open-air food market. You will visit a healthcare NGO to begin learning about public health in India, and you will meet Indian students while spending a day at a local high school. Then, head west with your group to Bahraich, a rural community near the Nepal border, where you will spend time in tribal villages and meet with village health workers and other community members to learn about local medicinal practices. Continue on to bustling Agra to see the Taj Mahal and deepen your knowledge of Indian history.

From Agra, you’ll travel to the rural Himalayan town of Palampur to participate in ayurveda and yoga workshops. A highlight of the program will be your 10-day homestay with a Tibetan family in Dharamsala, the residence of the Dalai Lama. Experience day-to-day life with your host family and engage in activities with local youth groups to learn about Tibetan culture and healing practices. You will discuss Tibetan diagnosis and treatment systems with local doctors at Men-Tse-Khang Tibetan Medical and Astro Science College and meet with the Dalai Lama’s representatives at the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile. After a month learning about public health, social justice, and traditional medicine within a variety of Indian communities, you will return to New Delhi for a final day of exploration and reflection.

Orientation: New Delhi, 3 days
Homestay: Dharamsala,* 10 days
Other Accommodations: Guest houses, school dormitory

* Homestay locations can vary.