Published: 23rd December 2017
Get on the Jagriti Yatra train and experience the railroad trip of a lifetime
The Jagriti Yatra is in its tenth year of taking entrepreneurs across the country and this year, it’s halting at the Rashtrapati Bhavan too!
Travelling is an external and internal journey which broadens horizons and helps one explore realms of their mind and of the world. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Well, we aren’t talking about a fictional journey like the Hogwarts Express. We’re talking about the Jagriti Yatra. This magical journey involves a train and passionate youngsters, chosen through a selection process to travel the length and breadth of India. And what makes it magical? When on the train, the yatris are blessed with the chance to interact and network with fellow yatris and when the train stops at the selected 12 places — panel discussions, workshops and interactions with entrepreneurial stalwarts to enrich their mind further. Essentially, learning happens both on the journey and off it.
Entrepreneurship is tough. One literally has to pull all the muscles of the body to get things done
Shashank Mani Tripathi, founder, Jagriti Yatra
This year, their tenth year, the journey of 500 yatris had began on December 24 and by December 26, they will be in Kanyakumari, probably swimming from the Vivekananda Rock Memorial to the beach. “It was Swami Vivekananda who exemplified the spirit of travelling,” states Shashank Mani Tripathi, the Chairman of Jagriti and the brains behind the yatra, who penned the first chapter of his book India: A Journey Through a Healing Civilisation at the memorial. “The sentiment is kuch karke dikhana hai (do something to show), and if we don’t build the nation in the next 15 years, we will not be forgiven,” believes Tripathi, who was born in Gorakhpur and now leads the Partner Practice division at PricewaterhouseCoopers India.
The train will stop at 15 locations including Kanyakumari, Madurai, Bengaluru, Vishakapatnam and Ganjam. About 46% of applicants are from a rural background, 33% from a semi-urban one and 21% from an urban background
This year, not only are the yatris invited to stop over at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 5, they are also scheduled to visit Deoria in Gorakhpur, where Jagriti Sewa Sansthan, the non-profit organisation under which Jagriti Yatra is set up, is based out of. Three years ago, they started what is now known as the ‘Deoria Model’. They empowered a localite, Rahul Mani, who this year, along with a Bengaluru-based enterprise, set-up a call centre that provided jobs to 400 people. Another lady’s local artefacts are retailing at Fabindia and Internet Saathi to facilitate digital literacy among rural women. Biz Gyan Tree will be conducted here and the yatris will get to interact personally with the locals and understand their problems.
All together: Participants of one of Jagriti Yatra's previous editions
Started back in 2008, when ‘internship’ wasn’t a buzzword, the concept of Jagriti Yatra drew blank faces from everyone. But now, it is the world’s largest train journey for entrepreneurs which covers 8,000 km and has an alumni network of about 4,000 people, “out of which, some may have settled back into their corporate jobs. But there is no need to feel guilty; all we ask of you is to think about the country while you go about your work,” Tripathi concludes.
From the yatris
This is the first time I’m leaving behind my five-year-old and participating in the Jagriti Yatra, about which I have heard from many people. I cannot wait to interact with young, energetic Indians, who have been selected for their drive. I want to interact with people across the community
Selva Kumar, Coimbatore
I couldn’t complete my application in 2016, but this year I managed to apply and get through. I really want to do something in the field of education, where many students are struggling to reach their potential. I want to understand the real problems of India, improve my language skills and network
Nasimina MP, Kozhikode
Check them out at jagritiyatra.com