– Medical Boat Project with Wohab & Sabitri
Imagine a land of islands and tides, a land where communities of people make a careful agreement with nature each day, working out the terms of their own survival. The Sunderban Islands lie off the shores of India and Bangladesh, where the Ganga River pours itself into the Bay of Bengal. This immense forested delta, the largest block of tidal mangrove islands in the world, is well-known for its population of endangered Bengal Tigers. Travelers to this exquisite region will discover a complex interplay of flora and fauna, fresh and sea water, closely integrated into the lives of the Bengalis who call the Sunderbans their home.
The Sunderbans make up one of the worlds most unique environments. At the same time, the lives of Sunderban villagers, the millions of farmers and fishermen who eke out a living on small islands amongst the waterways, is extremely difficult. Mohammed Abdul Wohab and Sabitri Pal, two dedicated individuals (both of whom were Honorees at the 2009 "Unsung Heroes of Compassion" presided by His Holiness the Dalai Lama) founded and operate the renown Southern Health Improvement Samity (SHIS). Recognizing the shortfall in medical care for the Sunderban villagers, they took steps to help. Now, four “medical boats,” waterborne clinics, carrying everything from x-ray units to pathology labs, make their way through the region providing much-needed care. The boats also dispense Ayurvedic herbal remedies cultivated by SHIS trained women.
On this Service Tour, clients will have to opportunity explore the city of Kolkata, as well as to witness firsthand the work of the SHIS Hospital and Ayurvedic facility in the "City of Joy." Days aboard the "medical boat" will be spent traveling through the Sunderbans, stopping in small villages to provide medical care. (MEDICAL TRAINING IS NOT NECESSARY TO PARTICIPATE ON THIS TOUR.)
This is an ideal Service Tour for travelers who have expertise or interest in community medicine, or would like to learn more about Ayurvedic Medicine while helping take care of the village's medical needs. Again, medical training is welcome, but not necessary on this trip.
Day 1, Fri: DEPART USA
Day 2, Sat: EN ROUTE TO INDIA
Day 3, Sun: ARRIVE KOLKATA - Most international flights arrive in Kolkata very early in the morning. You will be met on arrival and transferred to our hotel. Day to get over jet lag, explore the city, with an orientation meeting in the evening followed by a welcome dinner.
Day 4, Mon: IN KOLKATA WITH SHIS - After an early breakfast we start our work in the “City of Joy.” Visit the SHIS Hospital and the Ayurvedic facility. Time permitting we will also pay a visit to Mother Theresa's Ashram.
Days 5, 6 & 7 (Tue - Thur): ON THE MEDICAL BOAT – Early Tuesday morning we head out into the interior to board one of the four medical boats plying the waters of the Sunderbans. Our days are spent traveling from one small village to another, taking care of their medical needs. All meals and overnight accommodations will be on the boat.
Day 8: DAY ON THE BOAT / RETURN TO KOLKATA – We are out in the Sunderbans all morning long, before returning to Kolkata by late afternoon. We will have a closing on the week’s activities followed by a farewell dinner with our SHIS colleagues.
Day 9, Sat: DAY IN KOLKATA / DEPART FOR USA - We have the morning to visit sights or shop in Kolkata. Afterwards, you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight back to the USA.
Day 10, Sun: ARRIVE USA
Note: If you have additional time, Destination Himalaya will be happy to make arrangements for you to visit other sites in India.
Click here, If you are unable to join us on this tour, but would like to donate to this project.
|Other Voluntourism Trips:
- Munsel-Ling School: Spiti
The isolation that preserved the Spiti culture and traditions, also left the children far behind, without an opportunity for education. We will assist in the school founded by Lama Tashi Namgyal, called Munsel-Ling or “Place Illuminating the Darkness.”
Call us toll free at 1-800 MY INDIA (1-800-694-6342) or email us to request a detailed day-to-day itinerary.
" It makes me so happy when somebody calls out to me, 'Ma! You have reached us when nobody was giving any thought to us. You cared for us like your own child.' "
- Sabitri Pal
Sabitri Pal (President SHIS)
M.A. Wohab (Founder SHIS)
Sunderban National Park (World Heritage Site)
Bazaars of Kolkata
Mother Teresa Ashram
Remote Island Villages
Medical & evacuation insurance
Accommodation in best available Hotels
All ground transportation,
local guides and entrance fees
All meals after arrival in India
First Friday of the month October – March
This tour dove-tails with our Service Trips to Kerala
2-9 participants: $3800
10+ participants: $3400
Harvesting plants for Ayurvedic treatments