Have you sat staring at the fantastical pictures on the National Geographic magazine for hours? Watching the expedition shows on the National Geographic channel, wishing that it were you going into the the deep recesses of the jungles, or atop the highest mountains? Then, here is a chance to do just that.
In a new mission to search for people who “have achieved the extraordinary”, NGC has just launched a nation-wide hunt for India’s true explorers. The reward is an all-expenses-paid NatGeo expedition to Machu Picchu, Peru, next year.
These explorers can be from any field, though to make things simple, the programme has been divided into three categories — Music & Art, Innovation & Technology, and Nature & Travel. “Mission Explorer” invites participants to register in the contest by uploading a video on their achievements with a short description. Alternatively, they can also upload photographs or write-ups about themselves, telling the organisers what makes them a true explorer by December 25.
The NGC panel will then shortlist 10 participants, from which a jury of six will select the final three ‘explorers’.
The jury panel by itself is a reflection of the kind of people NatGeo is looking for. The six-member team comprises Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj of MIDival Punditz that changed the face of music by mixing Indian folk with electronica, India’s first female surfer Ishita Malaviya, offroaders Tushar Agarwal and Sanjay Madan who have driven 90,000km across 50 countries in 15 months in one car, and Arjun Venkatraman, a Silicon Valley engineer who relocated to India to connect isolated communties with affordable technology.
When asked what the jurors are looking for in the contestants, four sentiments rang clear — passion, simplicity, from the heart and something that is intended for the greater good. All these qualities are reflected in the life stories of the jurors themselves, who have worked against norms and traditions to break out and explore the unknown by themselves, creating an impact that goes well beyond just the self. “India doesn’t usually encourage its youth to explore outside the set norms, so it would be interesting to see the kind of work people are doing through this project,” said Venkatraman, who is currently working on a project in rural Karnataka. “We didn’t start exploring because of the money, but beacsue of our passion, and that’s what we’re looking for,” said Raj of MIDival Punditz.
NatGeo is known for its spirit of exploration, so when it came to celebrate this spirit and creating an impact this was the way to go, said Swati Mohan, Business Head, FOX International Channels (India). The NatGeo expedition to Peru will reflect the same ideology with treks and trails that are well off the beaten path. These expeditions will then be aired on the channel as 1-minute capsules.
Mission Explorer is an India-only project, and those those interested can log on to www.missionexplorer.in to register.