In its eighth edition, the Jagriti Yatra, a 15-day train journey undertaken by over 400 selected youngsters will commemorate 100 years of a similar pan-India journey by railway undertaken by Mahatma Gandhi upon his return from South Africa.
The Jagriti Yatra, which seeks to help potential entrepreneurs and nation-builders meet role models across the country, began on Thursday night with 470 youngsters boarding the special train from Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, Mumbai. Over the next two weeks, the group will live on the train as it traverses about 8,000 km. Stops along the route include Hubli, Bangalore, Madurai, Chennai, Visakhapatnam, Bhubaneswar, Patna, Deoria (Uttar Pradesh), New Delhi, Tilonia (Rajasthan) and Ahmedabad. At each stop, bidding social entrepreneurs will spend a day with change-makers such as Bunker Roy and his Barefoot College in Tilonia, Anshu Gupta at Goonj in Delhi, etc.
‘’This year we are carrying with us on the train a hand-written letter by Mahatma Gandhi that the Sabarmati ashram has kindly loaned us,’’ said Shashank Mani, chairman of the Jagriti Yatra Board who has spent new year’s eve on the train for the last seven years.
“The letter, in Gujarati, would serve as an inspiration for yatris discussing as it does the urgency with which nation-building activity must be taken up.”
The Jagriti Yatra aims to build a spirit of entrepreneurship among the youngsters, all aged between 20 and 27 years. This year’s group includes youth from every state and union territory barring Lakshadweep, with a first-ever 40 per cent composition of women yatris, said organisers.
At a daylong workshop at IIT-Powai on Thursday before the team headed for the railway station, selected youngsters and facilitators participated in an awareness session about safety measures on the train, the interactive sessions to be conducted during the journey and more. One of the former participants, many of whom are involved as facilitators and organisers, said the most enriching part of the journey is sometimes just the interaction with participants from different parts of the country.