My experience of being a part of Jagriti Yatra 2013

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I was tired, tired of starting up and not sticking to the plan in 6 projects / startups ( Qwerz, Startup4Startup,, Uni2versity, SkilledInterns ), which I started starting back then when I was a sophomore.
Eventually I lost all of the efforts and time I put in, in those projects. I started with an online community to connect students of my university. One after the another I was starting up and loosing my faith in them perhaps because of instant gratification we human beings suffer with. But the learnings I had from them were tremendous since all mistakes i was committing were very new to me. I also learnt to fight with every limitation I possessed and I kept on starting up and giving up on them.
I was exhausted and I wanted to surround myself with positivity. That’s when Jagriti Yatra happened to me. A train yatra full of young, bright minds from all parts of India, which have big dreams and passion to transform our India. 
It started in Mumbai with amazing classical performances done by TISS students, inspirational sessions by people like Indian chiefs of Rolls Royce, Indian Railways shared about their vision about India and how Youth of India will transform India in years to come. , Devdutt Patnaik brilliantly illustrated how Indian history ( also read as mythology ) resonates with the business culture.  The ceremony left us awestruck and we were very inspired already and were curious about what all will happen with us in coming days. 
When I ran out of ideas, It seemed like Jagriti Yatra planned it all, already. Soon I was going to discover that Jagriti Yatra was having tonnes of them inside it’s coaches of the JY train.
Focusing on various Industrial vertices like Energy, Water and Sanitation, Education, Healthcare, Agriculture, etc., we were given exposure to all domains. We were actively following the domain we were passionate about and passively understanding nuances of other verticals, directly from the founder of the organisations. 
They shared with us their past experiences, how their maniac work culture, ethics, perseverance and integrity helped their baby organization to become such a massive organization which empowers the community directly. 
Food was delicious and it was ensured that we eat what people in the same State eats. So imagine eating Idli Sambhar when you are arriving at Bangalore and Dal Baati with lots of ghee when you are crossing Rajasthan. It was absolutely blissful.
When we reached Delhi, In Goonj’s Office we watched a movie of Our National Anthem “jan gan man” performed by deaf and dumb children through hand gestures” which touched our hearts and the founder's advice to chase our dreams with all zeal and enthusiasm, is the message we carried to Rajasthan where we met the founder of Barefoot College.
What he did was something which is unique in very true sense. He empowered illiterate grannies from all over the world and made them skilled enough to build solar panels which were mechanical and which revolved around in direction of  the sun with great precision. That absolutely stunned all of us. Perhaps that’s the reason why Tilonia is such an important Case Study for many NGOs and Social entrepreneurs.
Every place we went to, we were coming across very unique case studies, each of them demonstrating how a single person with great courage and good team can change the lives of their community. We also learnt about people whose heart got broken while seeing pains of others, so much that they worked tirelessly in order to eliminate these problems to ensure better lives of others.
Clothes as a commodity is unheard of. Goonj managed to make villagers earn a piece of cloth for them by working for it, for their own community, in their very own village by building Roads, Bridges, Huts. This certainly reminded us of how important clothes are for people who are deprived of them.
When we were out of ideas or when we needed inspiration, we were showered with them, not only we learnt about Healthcare at Aravind Hospital which works on cross-subsidized model, helping poorest of the poor get their eye's operation done , we learnt about how Bio Gas Plants function. We also learnt about importance of clean water by knowing how Water borne diseases were jeopardizing the health of villages who were deprived of clean water.
Whenever we visited villages, We were given opportunities to talk to them. They were sharing their stories, things about their daily lives. Instantly, I could connect with these villagers and the problems they were facing and somehow I eagerly wanted to remove the pains from their lives. That’s when I was discovering myself and the reason of my existence.
That was my Jagriti in true sense and I could find it through Jagriti Yatra.
Though being an introvert, I talked with so many fellow Yatris and made some life long friends. 
Also, being an alumni of JY, one becomes a part of Jagriti Yatra’s fraternity which is always welcoming and shares the same spirit like oneself and hence in every part of india, we have a family to talk to and to live with.
I miss my JY days, and indeed every Indian should be part of Jagriti Yatra at least once in their lifetime. 


Gaurang Agrawal
JY Alumni 2013 
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