Women Empowerment – Created to highlight the condition of women in India and some specific initiatives promoting gender equality, this tour will bring you in touch with the real stars in the communities – the change makers.
Days 1 & 2
Delhi, the capital of India, is an impressive concentration of diversity, between traditions and modernity. This dense and huge city has seen a variety of cultures influencing its development: Mughal, Hindu and Sikh heritages are still alive. After the visit of the main monuments and religious places, you will meet a non-governmental organisation training women to craft making and following fair-trade principles.
Agra is known all over the world for the jewel of India located there: the Taj Mahal. Symbol of love and pure beauty, this impressive construction attracts all the people visiting India. After this mesmerizing visit, you will take the way to Jaipur.
Days 4 to 7
The capital of Rajasthan, the Land of the Kings, is also known as the Pink City. Jaipur is one of the first planned cities, and one will admire its structuration. The traditions are still very present in Jaipur, both in the life style as well as in the crafts. The visit of the splendid forts and one heritage walk in the old city will show you the past glory of Rajasthan. You will spend time with inspiring women committed to development organizations, and see how NGOs work in slums and villages for women empowerment. Finally, you will discover how a social business was set up, training village women to weave luxury rugs.
According to the Hindu culture, a person should visit it once in his life to be eligible for paradise. You will find there a temple for Bhrama, one of the single temples for this special God. It is a perfect place to get to know about Hindu epic stories, and to listen to priests explaining the Hindu rituals in a holy place. If you agree to get up early in the morning, a temple located at the top of a hill will offer a great panoramic view to see the sunrise on Pushkar.
Days 9 to 11
The Venice of the East is well known for its two lakes and the beauty of the piers surrounding them. City of the performing arts, Udaipur will please the amateurs of traditional dance and music, as well as the admirers of the precision of miniature painting. The luxuriant gardens also offer peaceful breaks and create a natural atmosphere. Local communities have been empowered to produce quality items, and some are even sold in fair-trade shops. You will visit them in villages and see one shop held by a famous organization.
Days 12 to 14
Located in the Thar Desert, in the Western part of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer, the Golden City, is entirely made of yellow stone. The façades of ancient palaces were carved by hand, adding to the beautiful colour of the walls. After having strolled in the Fort and admired the leather craft, you will go for a safari in the desert, discovering the life of communities in this arid area, and then spending a magic night under the stars.
Days 15 & 16
Centuries ago, Bikaner was an important commercial place, and got a specific attention from the Maharajas for this reason. One decided to establish over there his kingdom, and started to develop this city in the middle of an arid region. Today, the former palaces are still standing and impressive. You will visit the famous Rat Temple, and meet one organization supporting communities living in desert area.
Days 17 to 19
The Shekhawati is a rural region of Rajasthan, having kept all its traditions. You will discover the rural life, the traditional crafts and see the practice of organic farming. The city of Nawalgarh hosts incredible frescos that you will have the opportunity to admire. You will stay in guesthouses held by women who have been trained to welcoming international visitors, thus getting new income opportunities and playing a new role in the family.
Days 20 & 21
Back to Delhi for a last shopping session, a walk in the city at night, and the end of this tour!
Home-stay, Guest houses
Meeting with inspiring women working for empowerment, visit of one social company training and hiring women, meeting with one Self-Help Group, visit of one health program for women and children run in slums
Weaving, Wool spinning, Block and screen printing, Blue Pottery, Hand-made paper, Painting
Place of women in the society, Rural life, Life in desert, Indian cuisine