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Helen Keller Center for deaf-blind children

Internship and Volunteering Possible
The Helen Keller Centre in New Mumbai is a facility for special education as well as a nursing home for deaf and deaf-blind children and youth. Here volunteers are needed, to conduct various activities with the children; there are also supervised internships in the fields of special education, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

Project Details

70 deaf and 45 deafblind children and youth are attending the centre every day. From the 45 deafblind children and youth, 25 live in the centre as only there an adequate care can be guaranteed. Their parents don’t have the financial means nor education/understanding to look after the children in an acceptable way.
The reasons for the deafblindness of the children are either genetic, such as the Usher syndrome, or because during the pregnancy the mothers have used narcotics or suffered from diseases such as Meningitis or Rubella.
The centre distinguishes between “high functional” and “low functional” children and youth. The “high functional” youth aged 18 or older produce educational books in Braille. This is done at another place in Old Mumbai. The deaf use a voice-to-text interface to put texts into a computer which controls a machine that embosses the Braille into the paper. The deafblind youth then proofread the texts.
The “low functional” youth, under supervision, carry out simpler tasks at the residential home such as candle-making, growing potted plants, cooking, making paper bags and necklaces.
The making of necklaces is particularly interesting: as the youth cannot see the colours of the beads, the beads are kept in different containers. Still, the youth are able to create designs which are utterly complex. The paper bags are folded from erroneous sheets of the Braille making. Companies from Mumbai buy the bags to pack gifts during the festival season of Diwali (October/November).
In the centre there is a completely equipped department for occupational therapy and physiotherapy.
With the deaf children and youth, one staff has to care for 8 children; for the deafblind children and youth, the ratio is 1:2, whereas one staff per child would be ideal. Therefore volunteers are being looked for who can assist in the following areas: Working out educational materials, doing leisure activities such as swimming, yoga, sports, arts and handcrafts, nutritional consulting to assist the nurses, computer training, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, nursing and special education. The deaf children use the American system of sign language.
Internships with a supervisor are possible for students of special education, physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Info Box
Location: Navi Mumbai, India
Availability: All year, Start date flexible
Minimum Duration: 1 Month
Maximum Duration: 12 Months
Language Requirements: English
Further Languages Of Advantage: Hindi, Marathi
Room with host family, Shared Accommodation, Guest House
Supervision Possible: Yes
Qualification Of Supervisor: Special Educator, Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist
Minimum Qualification Of Intern:
Relevant studies or experience
Further Contribution To Project: None
Volunteering Possible: Yes
Required Qualification For Volunteer: None
Further Contribution To Project: None
Professional Conduct, Do you have the "right" attitude?



Accommodation in Navi Mumbai

In Navi Mumbai, you can choose between accommodation of different standards:
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Most popular! - This is the choice of most of our participants. You live in a shared flat with other participants and/or young Indians.

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Comfort+ - For those who need more comfort: Accommodation in a hotel


Shared Accommodation

In Navi Mumbai, most of our students live in apartments, which they share with other participants or with young Indians.
Apartment in Sanpada
The apartment is on the 7th floor of a residential building in Sanpada (Navi Mumbai). This is a very central residential district of the Indian upper middle class. In just 5 minutes you get to walk to Vashi station and to the shopping centers "Inorbit Mall", "Centre One" and "Raghulela" to which, you have to go through the Vashi Station. The "Vashi Plaza" with many shops is about 10 more minutes away on foot. From Vashi station, you get trains to other stations in Navi Mumbai and Mumbai.
In the immediate vicinity of the building, there are several small shops with food and everyday supplies, small local restaurants (which also have a delivery service in the neighborhood; Chicken Tikka with Naan Rs. 210; Daal Rs. 70-120), pharmacies, laundry facilities, and a well-equipped modern gym "Body Art" (day ticket Rs. 200; month Membership Rs. 2000). The shops are open until about 9.00 p.m. or 10.00 p.m., some restaurants to midnight.
The building has 7 floors with 2 flats in four separate wings (making a total of 56 apartments), around are other residences. There are guards sitting at the building entrances through the day and each resident is registered using their passport copy. Women can be alone till about 11.00 p.m. in the streets around the building. Those who do not want to go walking all the way to Vashi station in the dark, can take a autorickshaw for Rs. 15. The building has an elevator in each wing.
The apartment has one room (living room) and a bedroom, kitchen, shower/bath and toilet. The bedroom has modern air conditioning and ceiling fan, while the lounge has a ceiling fan. The bathroom has a shower with water heater and sink. The kitchen has a refrigerator, a ceramic cooking plate, kettle and sink. 1-3 people can live in this apartment.
Apartments in Kopar Khairane
Jessica, an Indian woman, owns a modern high-rise building which was only completed in 2013, with 4 flats which they sublet. Each apartment has 2 bedrooms, a living room, bathroom with toilet, kitchen and a balcony.
The bedroom is usually divided between 2 or 3 people; the living room can also be converted into a bedroom at bedtime. One can thus, occupy 6-9 persons in each apartment. The rent is cheaper with more people sharing the room; those who want to pay more, can have a single room on rent. Each resident has a cupboard that can be locked with personal belongings.
The apartments are very modern and of the highest standard amongst which are available in Navi Mumbai. There are lifts and security personnel stationed, who know all the residents. The apartments are tastefully decorated and of high quality. The other residents are fellow participants or young Indian professionals, who are mostly under 30 years old.
Our residents highlight a friendly atmosphere. It is easy to meet people and spend free time with them. Jessica also lives in the apartment itself and provides, for a small fee (about Rs. 350 per month), unlimited laundry. She also cooks also cheap food according to order (vegetarian and non- vegetarian).
The tower is located close to the station, Kopar Khairane. The public transport system is thus, very easy to reach. Vashi Station is 3 stops away (5 minutes). Kopar Khaine is an upmarket residential district according to standards. There are all major shops, supermarkets, banks with ATMs, local Indian restaurants and Western fast food chains in the vicinity.



For participants who are looking for more comfort, we organize accommodation in a centrally located budget hotel in Vashi, which is affordable for longer stays. It offers modern single and double rooms, each with private bathroom and air conditioning. The hotel does not offer Wifi Internet though, but internet use is possible with smartphones or USB internet sticks.



I. World Unite! Service Package

Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
  up to 31 Days
32-60 Days
61-90 Days
91-120 Days
5 Months or longer
 wu servicepackage
1 Person
350 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 700 EUR 800 EUR
2-4 Persons
(Rate per Person)
300 EUR 400 EUR 500 EUR 600 EUR 650 EUR
Convert rates to USD, GBP, CAD, AUD and other currencies

The World Unite! Service Package includes:

  • Individual Consultation and Preparation prior to your arrival
  • Access to the World Unite! Online Resource Centre which has Preparation Materials including Intercultural Preparation, compiled particularly for your destination (PDFs, Videos)
  • Preparation Session via Skype, together with further participants
  • Arrangements of the Documents you need for your Visa Application and assistance with local registration (if required) but not the official government fees for the visa (See costs below)
  • Pick-up and Transfers from/to Mumbai Airport (BOM) on arrival and departure
  • Personal support staff at your location and at our international office
  • Orientation and Introduction in Navi Mumbai
  • Accompanying you to your placement on your first day
  • 24 Hours emergency support by local support team
  • Local SIM Card with 600 Rs. airtime credit
  • Issuance of Confirmations/Certificates for your university, scholarship, insurance, etc. and filling out/signing Internship Contracts for your university

The Rates do NOT include:

  • Accommodation and Meals (see below)
  • Travel to/from Mumbai (you book it on your own; we can assist you)
  • Official fees for Visa (see below)
  • Insurance (Travel Health Insurance, Liability Insurance, Travel Cancellation insurance; you book it on your own, we can assist you)
  • Personal Expenses
  • Vaccinations
  • Local Transport (Estimated amounts see below)
  • Please note that for supervised/mentored internships, some organizations charge further contributions. You find this information in the "Info Box" below the respective internship description.

II. Accommodation Costs

You can choose between the following options:
Mobile/Cell Phone Users: If you don't see the rates for your desired duration of stay, hide other (shorter) durations of stay.
All Rates in Indian Rupees!
Calculate Currency
 Short-time Stay
(1-31 Days)
Long-time Stay
(32-365 Day)
(Only bookable for full months or half months)
Shared Apartment or Hotel   
Apartment shared with other participants
1 Person
(Double/Twin Room)*
7500 Rs/2 Week
(min. 2 weeks)*
15,000 Rs/Month
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
7500 Rs/2 Week
(min. 2 weeks)
15,000 Rs/Month
(optional; Indian Meals)
per person Breakfast 35 Rs; Lunch 45 Rs; Dinner 55 Rs./Day Breakfast 35 Rs; Lunch 45 Rs; Dinner 55 Rs./Day
Hotel incl. Breakfast
1 Person
(Single Room)
7000 Rs/Week
+ Tax (4%)
30.000 Rs/Month
+ Tax (4%)
2 Persons p.p.
(Double/Twin Room)
4900 Rs/Week
+ Tax (4%)
21.000 Rs/Month
+ Tax (4%)
* Room is shared with another person of the same sex (World Unite! participant or Indian student/young professional). Electricity is not included in the rate and will be charged depending on usage. Rate for meals is subject to sudden change and not guaranteed. In case of 3-4 person: Same rate as in case of 2 Persons. 5 or more persons: Contact us for group rates. The bed has to be booked for a full month or half month.

Overview of other costs:

  • Visa around 60-130 EUR (75-160 USD) depending on activity and duration; to apply prior to your travel
  • If meals are not included: 40-100 EUR (50-130 USD)/Month (Estimate)
  • Small local expenses (Internet, Local Transport): ca. 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month (Estimate)
  • Insurances around 20-40 EUR (30-50 USD)/Month

How do I pay?

Once all your questions have been answered and you confirm that you want to participate, we will email you an invoice. You can pay it via bank transfer or via Paypal. You will pay a deposit of 200 EUR when the invoice is issued. One months prior to your arrival you will pay the remainder for your Service Package and for the first month of rent.
Rent from the 2nd month, possible further contributions to the NGO or for internship supervision (see info box of the respective project description), and costs for visa and possibly further official permits you pay directly at your destination (unless we inform you differently for certain placements). There are ATMs. 



Other Projects That Might Interest You:

These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.

Travel Health Insurance

We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.

Getting There


Getting To Navi Mumbai

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You book your flight to Mumbai (BOM). There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Navi Mumbai.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are there fixed start dates for the project, which I must adhere to?
No, you can arrive at any date and you can hence, plan your trip according to your availability and the prices of flights. We can pick you up from Mumbai airport even at night.
Can I stay longer at my accommodation after my volunteering/internship or arrive earlier?
Yes, this is possible and we will give you our best rates. Just let us know when you arrive and leave and we will let you know the costs.
During my stay, can I travel around the country?
Of course, you can do this - most of our participants do so. However, when the travel destination is too far away, it may not be possible over a weekend; these, we would recommend you keep for before the projects begins or after the completion. You could even plan these out during holidays. Even with an internship visa, it is possible to travel around India.
When is the rainy season and can I travel to India during this time?
The monsoon begins in early June in Kerala, Mumbai, in mid-June and the Himalayan region, early to mid-July and ends in September. The Thar Desert in Rajasthan (location Setrawa), barely gets rain during the monsoon and Jodhpur is rather dry.
During the monsoon, it usually rains heavily for several hours every day. As a result, there are often floods in the streets of the cities, because the drains cannot absorb the amounts of water. An internship or volunteering is possible during the monsoon, and the only nuisance will probably be wet clothes and shoes, which are often difficult to dry because of the high humidity. You might want to carry a few extra shoes and a change of clothes with you (or buy them locally). You can even buy an umbrella or a raincoat locally. An advantage to traveling during the monsoon, is that the fares are cheaper and accommodation during the off season is cheaper.
Can I travel to India as a young woman alone? The media constantly reports of rape - how high is the risk?
For decades, India has been a safe country for women and now the impression, given by the media, is that the number of rapes has skyrocketed and India is unsafe for women. More cases are coming into light now, as women previously would not speak about rape, but are now empowered to do so. Compared to the number of cases in relation to the huge population of India (almost twice as many as the whole of Europe), even if projections of unreported cases are included, there is much less rape than in many other countries. There are 2 cases that happen per 100,000 inhabitants in India (in comparison: Central Europe: 8.1 cases; 14.7 cases in Latin America; 28.6 cases per 100,000 population in the US).
Of course you have to be careful as a woman, as far as the style of dressing and dealing with local men are concerned. In schools, boys and girls are often strictly separated and many young men have no experience in dealing with women who are not their own mother or sisters; your behavior, based on dealing with Western men, might be misinterpreted as “easy” or “loose” behaviour.
Will I be the only volunteer/intern in the project or in Mumbai?
The total number of participants that participate simultaneously with an organization depends on the size and activity of the organization and responsibilities of volunteers/interns. We try to avoid too many volunteers/interns in an organization at the same time. It may be that you are alone in your work site, but usually there are, throughout the year, other participants in Mumbai, who you can meet in your spare time, if you desire so.
What vaccinations do I need?
Our Info - PDF that you get as a participant, gives detailed information on health care. Also refer to Recommended Vaccinations
Where will I live?
In the tab "Accommodation", you see the housing options.
Does my accommodation have internet facilities?
In the shared accommodations, there is no wifi, but you access internet at a cafe or on your smartphone or using a mobile internet stick. The registration of the modem, however, is very complex and not possible in Mumbai, if you do not have a permanent residence. Our tutor will help you with the paperwork.
How can I do my laundry?
There are several laundromats in Navi Mumbai, where the clothes are washed by hand and neatly ironed. There is a price per garment (fixed price for trousers, tops, towels, underwear, etc.), and it will be best if you negotiate a good rate for the clothes, especially if you have regular amounts of laundry. We advise you to ask around for the best laundromat in your area.
Can I cook in the accommodation?
Yes, you can cook at your accommodations.
I am a vegetarian. Can I get vegetarian food?
Yes, India is a paradise for vegetarians. Almost all restaurants are clearly marked, whether they are vegetarian ("Veg") or not ("Non-Veg"), and there are separate menus. About 40% of Indians are vegetarians.
What language skills do I need?
You should be able to understand and make yourself understood in English.
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