Senior Jag Lally is leading a group of students to India, Aug. 3-21, to sightsee and volunteer for his charity, New Hope Relief. The group includes math teacher Patricia Jacobsen, senior Madison Judd, senior Jacob Sands and his parents, and Lally’s parents and brother, sophomore Harkirat Lally. This is his second trip to India.
Q: Where in India will you be?
A: We will land in Delhi and then drive to the state of Agra. It should be about a 3-4 hour drive. In the first half of our trip, we’ll be in Agra and the state of Rajasthan. And then we are going to the state of Punjab.
Q: How long is the flight?
A: Twenty hours. We are going to stop in South Korea.
Q: Where will you stay?
A: We will be in hotels for a lot of the trip. Once we go to Punjab, we will be staying in my family’s house.
Q: Why is the group coming with you?
A: To help me volunteer. It’s also a good opportunity for them to visit India with someone who has been there before.
Q: What are you doing in Agra?
A: We’re going to check out sights, including the Taj Mahal and old historic forts. We’ll be there for a day.
Q: What about in Rajasthan?
A: In Jaipur (a city in Rajasthan) we’re going to do an elephant experience, where you can paint, name and play with your own elephant. We’re also going to go on the river there, unless there’s a lot of rain. We’re also going on a night camel ride. We will be there for two days.
Then we’re going to Jodhpur (a city in Rajasthan) to visit an old palace and to go ziplining. We’ll also go shopping. And then we’ll let the tour guide suggest some attractions.
We’ll be there for two days before we drive back to Jaipur for one more day, when we will start our community service.
Q: And in Punjab?
A: We’ll be in the city of Jalandhar. The first day we’ll just adjust and hang out after our six-hour train ride.
On the second day we will go to the Golden Temple (the holiest Sikh temple in the world) and do charity work, which involves helping out disabled people. We will give them food, new clothes, medical equipment and any other work we can do to help.
The next day we will head back to Jalandhar and help another disability clinic there. And the next day we’re going to most of the local temples to help them with food and cooking because the temples provide food to the public for free.
The following day we’re buying school supplies and giving them to schools around the neighborhood, as well as giving water to the locals who need it.
Q: Where are you getting the water and food?
A: We’re getting the water from private water companies. We’re getting food from local vendors, such as Walmart.
Q: How much money is being spent for this community service?
A: About $10,000.
Q: What else will you be doing in Punjab?
A: During the remainder of the trip, the volunteering will include getting kids out of child labor, giving food to the poor and helping out at a girls’ orphanage.
Q: How will you be getting kids out of child labor?
A: We’re heading to a part of Punjab known for its child labor. The kids have to work and aren’t able to get an education. We’re hoping to get 50 kids out of labor and pay for their schooling.
Q: If most of your volunteer work consists of giving out supplies, why do you have to actually travel to India?
A: In India there’s a lot of corruption, so you don’t know for sure that your money is going to where you want it to go.
Q: What will be most shocking to the first-time India travelers?
A: I believe the traffic will surprise them. But the amount of poverty will definitely be the most shocking.
Q: How much of a problem will mosquitoes be?
A: Last time I went to India I forgot to bring bug spray, and I got bit as soon as I got out of the airport. This time around we will be bringing tons of bug spray. All the viruses that the mosquitos have we’re vaccinated for.
Q: How’s the weather going to be?
A: It’s going to be really hot and humid. Monsoon season started at the end of July. It’s probably going to be raining most of the trip. But when we go to Rajasthan, there’s a good chance there’ll be a break in the downpour.
Q: What did you do on your first trip to India?
A: I went during Spring Break (2015) with my mom. We were able to pay for 2500 cataract surgeries for locals as well as help them out with clothing, food and water.
Q: Are you nervous about your second trip?
A: No, I’m just excited.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most?
A: Going to the disability clinics and helping out there. The elephant activity also has me really excited.