I. Green Thumb environment protection group is a NGO set-up in August 1993 by Colonel Suresh Patil(Retd). It is a charitable trust registered under Bombay Public Trusts Act 1950 in India. Green Thumb has its Headquarters at Pune. “Green Thumb” was set up primarily as an environment protection group (NGO) and has been engaged in rendering yeoman service to the most critical issue of ecological restoration by executing innovative ‘Urban Wilderness’ project programmes in-and-around Pune, Kolhapur, Ahemadnagar & Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra in the Western Region of India. Over past twelve years it has got stronger with the contribution in terms of ideas and time from a strong team of volunteers comprising of youth and women. Thus the Youth Wing of Green Thumb was established five years ago giving youth an active platform to participate on other social issues also. The youth wing is actively involved in successfully conducting cultural youth exchange programmes with participants of age group of 18 to 30 years from various countries.

The cultural youth exchange programme was started in the year 2000 and has since welcomed youngsters from various fields for a period of one to three months. The programme gives an opportunity to experience a new country learning about the local culture, language, getting to know the people and their ways of living. India being a very old culture has a lot to offer. We believe that to, learn about a country as vast as India one has to come and spend a few months here and be integrated with the local community to understand the culture better. In the past, our participants have tried their hands at learning Indian music, ayurveda, yoga, learning Hindi etc. This programme gives you an opportunity to live with a host family who will make you feel as an integral part of the Indian culture and thus helping in making your stay worthwhile and fun.

II. Objectives of Green Thumb Cultural Exchange Programme are the following:

(i) Facilitate interaction amongst youth of various countries thus making for a better understanding and appreciation of each others cultures.

(ii) Understanding Environment protection measures and other social issues and contributing towards the cause by working as a volunteer on a project of your choice in a field of your choice.

(iii) Learning about the Indian culture, language, philosophy (ayurveda, yoga), people and travel across the country.

(iv) The programme will faclilitate not just understanding a foreign culture but also will help one appreciate one’s own culture better.

(v) Help establish new collaborations in diverse fields.

III. Means of attaining the above mentioned objectives:

(i) On arrival organise a two day orientation camp for all participants thus giving them a chance to interact with each other. The basic idea of the camp is to orient oneself to India.

(ii) Introduction and moving to the host family. Host families are carefully chosen keeping in mind your preferences.

(iii) Choose a workplace based on your likes on a social issue of your choice. In the past our volunteers have worked in orphanages, environment project, with physically and mentally challenged children, work on farms etc.

(iv) Organise other hobby classes that you may want to do while you are in India for e.g learning yoga, hindi, musical instrument, language, dance etc.

(v) Green Thumb will help you with organising your time out to travel across India
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with the best wishes for a better earth tomorrow!

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A - Nehru Marg, Off Ghorpadi Bazar,
Pune - 411001 (Maharashtra) India
Phone: 0091 9371 202875 , 0091 937 2468547