I had never expected that I can live all my life in just fifteen days but this train gave me almost all kinds of experiences one can ever imagine to have in his/her twenties. A senior of mine once told me about Jagriti Yatra but I had never taken the thing seriously until one August, when I was having nothing to do in winters, I filled the form with some expectations to make it through the selection process. And finally it landed up me in this train with 470+ unknown yatris, everyone having their own expectations from yatra.
Most of these were passionate entrepreneurs, already having some start-up back in their city or having innovative ideas and looking up for proper resources to get their start-up launched in market. Some were to see the country and some were even like me, still finding the purpose of their life. I was here to explore what all things I can do with my life and the more I explored, the more confused I became. Who can imagine that someone doing engineering will be a part of a business plan discussing the marketing strategies of a healthcare start-up one day. We begin on 24th December for this fifteen days long train journey to see how various enterprises are transforming the country with a vision of buildingOur daily schedule included visiting different places meeting entrepreneurs there, listening their success stories, having panel discussions and attending sessions by different role models in AC chair car.
We had a cohort/subgroup of 6 participants and 1 facilitator. Three such cohorts fromed a group. To ensure participation of both the genders a group consisted of both, male and female cohorts. Sharing a compartment with so many strangers makes you feel like family in between them. People here speak equally politely to fellow yatris as well as the workers sweeping our train and serving our food. They do not litter and don't waste resources which shows that there's a group of people believing that change will happen.
Our train took us to twelve different places, both villages and cities. I could never have seen places like Kalkeri otherwise where solar power and proper education is transforming the lives of villagers. We all can take initiatives like SELCO and Kalkeri Sangeet Vidyalaya and improve at least one village in our locality. We were also motivated in The Art of Living Ashram Bangalore, meditating and listening to Shri Shri Ravishankar Ji. Everyday I met with more and more yatris and they never fail inspiring me from their
stories. The Aravind Eye Care and MSSRF were our next visits where we learnt about opportunities in healthcare and agricultural sectors. The marine sector has also various entrepreneurship opportunities to which we were introduced at the Naval Dockyard, Vishakhapatnam. They showed us various fighter ships and submarines, which I had seen only on Discovery channel. The visits were both, inspiring and beautiful.
Our further visits included Behrampur, Nalanda ruins and Rajghat too. For the first time I was a part of a business plan which we pitched at Deoria. All this could happen in such a short time due to teamwork among group members. We divided the work and accordingly finished it on time. Though we didn't win it, yet it was an amazing experience for me.Sometimes it was too hectic to follow up with the schedule but it is rightly said that energy multiplies itself, and the fellow yatris were always there to encourage me.
What I am taking back are some lifelong friends and lots of inspiration with a dream to travel as much as possible to see the beautiful world out there. And the funny thing is that now whenever I am in a train, I get drowned back in memories that just walking a few compartments I might see the ERC boogie and the AC chair car again with those friends waiting to share their dreams with me.