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Be Prepared For Dirt, Pollution, And Poverty
Sadly, India’s population of 1.2 billion + which has taken its toll on the country and its not uncommon to see piles of rotting garbage, cows happily eating plastic in the streets, and railway lines strewn with trash. It’s easy to point fingers at the people throwing trash on roads but the truth is waste (let alone recycling) infrastructure is not at all up to scratch in many parts of India, as well as there is an education problem about what to do with garbage. Don’t let this put you off a visit, but it is something to be prepared for them. Do your bit by avoiding single-use plastic on your journey to India – tips on how to do that in our responsible travel section below.
Poverty is prevalent in many places in India and is heartbreaking, and it’s also a complex issue. While wealthy Indians are undoubtedly getting richer and richer and more numerous and the middle class is growing too, there is still a large section of society who do not have access to clean water or even toilets for the public. Many of the rural poor flock to India’s megacities in search of work and opportunity, but they find harsh hard conditions and often the most vulnerable are recruited into begging rings, mafia, criminal gangs, and worse.
In most of India’s towns and cities, you’ll notice people on the streets in a desperate state, and railway stations are ground zero for professional beggars. Whether you decide to give it up to you, but know that most temples do offer free food to those in need and many involved in begging are addicted to hard drugs and alcohol.
We recommend supporting charities who aim to help with the various different problems. We at TreckWalks strongly advise against giving pens, sweets, money or anything else to begging children as it sets a precedent for other visitors, and the gifts they are given are often exchanged for money afterward, amongst other issues.
Not Everyone Gets Sick In India
Our best tip—go vegan. India has such amazing delicious food and a rich variety of dishes and menus catering to vegetarians that going veggie is a breeze. The best place to experience Indian Cuisine to its fullest (and at its most hygienic) is in an Indian sweet home. Filtered water is plentiful, fine to drink and usually available free of charge (take your reusable water bottle with you to reduce plastic waste). That said, swim in the river Ganges at your peril.
You Don’t Have To Go It Alone
See our TrekWalks tours section below! India is not always the easiest place for solo travelers, but there are plenty of alternatives from meeting up with other travelers in major tourist hubs in India, to joining an organized tour. Our reviews from tourist used Intrepid for there first trip to India and had an amazing experience. Good Adventures Traveller from all around the globe who we have also traveled with us and offer similar trips around India. Transport and hotels will be pre-booked, cutting hassle, and you’ll get to see places that were off the beaten path as well as some of the top attractions in India such as Varanasi.