For many travellers, India can serve up a healthy dose of culture shock; in nearby Nepal, the vibe is much more relaxed. What both of these countries have in common, however, are programs set up to empower each country's formidable local women.
G Adventures and its non-profit foundation Planeterra are working hard to improve conditions in both Nepal and India, and to alleviate gender inequality. Here's how:
Women on Wheels
With this program, you'll get an airport transfer in Delhi from a taxi company run exclusively by women. You’ll not only support one of more than 20 women employed as taxi drivers — you’ll also arrive safely at your first night’s accommodation in this bustling city.
The Ramraja restaurant in Orchha
Beside the Orchha Palace is a small restaurant called Ramraja. So, after walking yourself off your feet in the palace, you can come here for a wonderful lunch — and a delicious mango ice cream for dessert!
Cooking with Rajni
Would you rather learn how to cook Indian food yourself? Then you should definitely visit Rajni in Orchha. She’s been running cooking classes out of her home for more than a decade, showing travellers how to bring Indian flavours into their own kitchens long after their trip is over.
SASANE in Pokhara
Samrakshak Samuha Nepal, or SASANE, is a not-for-profit organization supported by Planeterra that empowers women who were once victims of human trafficking. The survivors are trained by SASANE as paralegals or tour guides, and they then teach in schools to raise awareness with young girls, and work with other survivors as social workers.
Barauli Community Homestay
Ever been on safari? In Nepal’s Chitwan National Park, you can see the rare one-horned rhino (which lives only in Nepal) in the wild — and, if you’re lucky, you might even spot one of the elusive tigers that live here. In the evening, at the Barauli homestay, a large group of women will perform the traditional dance of the Tharu — and you can even join in if you like. This community also has its roots in a not-for-profit project supported by the Planeterra Foundation.