Navdanya welcomes interns from across India and around the world to join the movement for ecological agriculture, food sovereignty, and living democracy. Interns garner skills and wisdom for building a sustainable future while sharing knowledge from their own communities and backgrounds. Navdanya’s work spans the gamut from grassroots organizing to international policy analysis. Interns thus gain exposure to many different levels of environmental advocacy––from making compost to preparing field reports to attending international conferences.
The deadline for submission of internship applications is one month before the internship begins. Please be aware of visa processing times according to the Indian Consulate/Embassy in your country. Some positions require a longer time commitment than the minimum 3 months.
The interns are part of a larger community on the farm that includes short term and long term volunteers, staff and visitors, and must be able and willing to participate with enthusiasm in the life of the farm and for the betterment of the community. All Interns will become an integral part of the life at the farm and participate in the community activities as well as their own specific tasks.
Multi-tasking is an essential skill for all interns. Interns will not be limited to only specific tasks, but will partake in other projects and activities as they arise and according to their time, ability and energy.
Navdanya is also open to self-directed projects and/or learning objectives. Please contact the intern coordinator if you would like to create a project that suits you and your skill.
Each year people from around the world visit Bija Vidyapeeth to learn about ecological agriculture, eat fresh organic food, and enjoy the beautiful simplicity of rural India. We welcome volunteers from all backgrounds––from lifelong farmers to first timers––to join our learning community. Some volunteers come to study agriculture for an entire season; others just to experience farm life for a few days. The only requirement for volunteers is a willingness to try something different and learn new skills.
Volunteers are welcome all year round. For long-term volunteers who do not already speak Hindi, we recommend an intensive Hindi language course of perhaps 2-4 weeks in order to communicate clearly with staff and project coordinators. Prospective volunteers should apply in advance to give time for necessary communications before your arrival and to ensure that there is space for you during your stay. Please be aware that space may be limited at certain times of the year due to particular courses or school groups and we cannot always guarantee space. All volunteers are required to fill out the Intern & Volunteer Online Application.
Volunteers participate in the life at the farm in a communal manner. They spend time their days working with the dedicated organic farmers and seed keepers who run Bija Vidyapeeth. They help prepare meals, do ongoing gardening activities such as weeding, and help maintain a clean, healthy environment for everyone on site. The general activities of the farm vary from season to season, and specific activities vary as well. All volunteers should be able and willing to work as a team and for the betterment of the community. This includes interaction, cooperation and enthusiasm when working and living alongside the staff, interns and other volunteers.
The farm is a community and everyone contributes to its well-being. The following outline gives an idea of the activities the volunteers and interns carry out throughout the year:
· Millet harvest season
· Sowing of Beans and Vegetables
· Rice sowing
· Rice harvest
· Rice threshing
· Rice cleaning
· Rice Transplanting
· General labour
· Seed selection and labelling
· Wheat, Barley, oats harvest
· Winter and Summer vegetable sowing
· Turmeric and ginger harvesting
· Organization of the Seed Bank
· Documentation of the yield of different crops
· Soil analysis
· Tree planting
Apart from the above activities, weeding, grain and pulse sorting and cleaning, cleaning of common areas, meal preparation, and other activities are constantly done year round.