Saha Astitva Foundation
Rules and Guidelines
Welcome to Saha Astitva! Here are some of our basic rules to respect during your stay with us:
- All volunteers/interns are subject to a probation period.
- Carrying or use of intoxicants, in town as well as on the farm, is prohibited.
- We are pure vegetarian- so no eggs, fish or meat is to be consumed on the property (however our farm cats do eat a little dried fish and catch the occasional mouse).
- All hygiene and cleaning products used on the farm must be biodegrable.
- Show respect for yourself, others and the farm by being kind, compassionate and conscious of the space you are in as well as those that are living and working with.
- We often have groups and guests that come unexpectedly. Understanding this, please clean up after yourself immediately in communal areas and keep personal areas tidy.
- Seeing as we are and NGO working with local tribal people, please keep attire conservative and comfortable (Attire not allowed: cleavage exposing, tank tops, belly tops, low rise pants, shorts shorter than above the knee, very tight or revealing clothing)
- Protect yourself from illness, dangerous animal encounters, sun strokes, etc. by carrying any necessary medications or healing materials, a hat and water bottle, a portable light of some sort for walking around at night, and be diligent of creatures and plants that may sting when walking around the farm.
- Keeping track of and paying your contribution for your accommodation, meals and any other expenses owed to Saha Astitva is your responsibility.
- Stay with your weekly tasks unless previously arranged to do something else.
Welcome to India! Here are some basic etiquette guidelines to make your time in India more fluid and safe:
- Make sure attire and behavior is respectful, especially when in temples.
- Since feet are seen as outlets to our energy, it is considered disrespectful to point the soles of your feet towards murtis (sacred statues and idols) as well as high spiritual beings.
- On that same note, shoes are considered dirty, and so always remove shoes when entering temples, homes, or anywhere out of respect.
- In India, as well as many Asian countries, the left hand is used to wipe after using the washroom and so when taking Prasad (sacred offerings of food or other), shaking hands, or really accepting anything respectfully with the hand, use the right!
- For women, especially those alone: India is a safe country. However, men will probably approach you, stare and may make remarks and so remaining centered is important. Non engagement is the best route, and remember, words, gestures and even so much as a glance back is engaging.
- Encouraging an attitude of self empowerment and not dependency, its best that you to not give money or sweets to local people. If you feel minded to give something, consulting local Trust donations are recommended, or simply offer a warm smile or salutation.
- You never know what foreigners came before you or which will come after you. In this light, understand that you are representing foreigners and your behavior can help change disillusions as much as it can create new negative assumptions about non-Indians traveling and living in India.