Six hundred creative, crazy and charismatic souls gathered at one place. Something magical was about to happen. The auditorium was filled with a different energy that day – the kind of energy you feel good around, and want to associate yourself with. It was a joyous moment for the entire Jagriti Yatra team of 2017 (supported by Schneider Electric), for it was the 10th edition of this incredible entrepreneurial India rail excursion.
Here’s what Pooja Akula, one of the Yatris, had to say on her first day:
“I had always heard stories about this, of how the journey takes you to the rural parts of India – the actual India, where tales of victories, not sufferings, are narrated. Places where strong souls accept the reality and pledge to bring about a change – all for the positive. I have always had a soft corner and respect for such people and such places which choose to make a move, playing against the no-win situation – and have wished to contribute to these communities. The concept of Jagriti Yatra is just that. But for me, it was too good to be true – so I decided to experience it myself before making a judgment.
A total of 480 Yatris had made their way to the event this year, leaving behind 4000+ other applicants. The selection process is quite a hurdle for many, as it requires you to fulfill various eligibility criteria to get onto the train.
Day one of Jagriti Yatra was scheduled to happen in the auditorium of Ravindranatya Mandir, Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Carrying luggage and looking at their best, the Yatris had travelled down from their respective hometowns. Some of them also came from overseas.
The networking session had begun – and as time passed, I could sense the change in body language – from mostly being conscious and nervous to comforting and enjoyable. Induction was the first scheduled session that introduced Yatris to the various parameters of the Yatra. The purpose of the Yatra was explained, and ideas for the near future were discussed. By the end of the induction, every Yatri knew what to expect from Jagriti Yatra 2017.
The official launch of the event was scheduled to begin after a healthy lunch. The programme began with a beautiful dance performance that set the mood right with the raising expectations. There was excitement in the air and motivation in the soul.
The honourable chairman of Jagriti Yatra, Shashank Mani, appeared on the stage making his dramatic entry and nonstop applause echoed in the walls of the packed auditorium. As usual, Mr. Mani addressed the audience with inspiring words and shared the idea of all the Sankalps (meaning pledge). He told us about the five Sankalps and their importance.
The five Sankalps:
1. We will build India through enterprise.
2. We will explore India to promote national unity.
3. We will focus on tier 2 and tier 3 districts.
4. We will empower youth and women for job creation.
5. We will inspire citizens for nation building.
These wise words spoken by Mr Mani made a lot of sense and gave us hope for the betterment – a development all of us wish to see and contribute to, for the nation’s sake. The journey of Jagriti Yatra rightly puts forth its vision of ‘Building India Through Enterprise’. It does all that it takes, practises all that it preaches and teaches all that it has learnt over the years. As a result, it’s making a tremendous impact on middle-class India which is correctly referred to as the actual, real India consisting of people making a change.”
As said by our chairman, the mistake that we as entrepreneurs do is that we focus on the money, not the problem. When there is a focus on creating an impact and solving the problems of your customers, then money just becomes a by-product.