‘Unbowed by COVID Jagriti launches a massive Digital Yatra to inspire the nation’

Mumbai: Jagriti Sewa Sansthan is a nationally renowned charitable organization, with the mission of ‘Udyam se DeshNirman’ or ‘Building India through Enterprise’. Its flagship program Jagriti Yatra (JY) has taken 500 youth and women every year, over the past 12 years, on a national train journey to explore, understand and learn from ‘Middle India’ – small towns and districts. Jagriti is building Jagriti Enterprise Center–Purvanchal (JECP) in Deoria, UP, a Tier 3 district for enterprise incubation and regional innovation, as the first of four such enterprise centers in the four corners of the country.

Today, when the country is coping with the COVID-19 crisis, Jagriti is turning that crisis into an opportunity by launching Jagriti Digital Yatra 2020 (JDY 2020) to promote ‘Udyamita’ or ‘Enterprise’ on a very large scale. The Jagriti Digital Yatra will carry over 700 Digital Yatris on a journey of national exploration through digital means for 15 days from 24th December to 8th January (see route of the journey).

At the core of JDY 2020 is the belief that entrepreneurial energy in ‘Middle India’ has to be mobilized for revival and growth. Properly supported, leaders in the middle can create local enterprise and local employment helping revive the country as a national movement.

Jagriti Digital Yatra 2020 seeks to multiply the number of participants, outreach and its impact. It will engage 1000 Digital Yatris using digital platforms for group work and experience; bringing enterprise learning through role model visits and digital maps. Yatris will interact through live sessions with 12 role models’ at key locations where the Yatra stops and will undertake business plan competitions. The Yatra will have national speakers like Dr Kiran Bedi, Dr. RA Mashelkar, R. Gopalakrishnan. The Yatra will host panel discussions on 6 key issues relevant for smaller towns and districts – Health, Women empowerments, Digital, Rurbanization, Agriculture, Apparel and Handicrafts, subjects that are the focus of the Jagriti Enterprise Center – Purvanchal (JECP). The Yatra will have 90+ hours of content andengagement with 200+ speakers over 15 days. Peer to peer interaction with participants forms the core of the digital learning process, with online learning-by-doing. The 1000 ‘Learning Yatris’ will learn by following this 15 day national journey on a daily basis. An innovative ‘KaunBanegaBargad’ competition hosted by the JECP.

For the Jagriti Digital Yatra 2020, we have received immense support from our partners such as Schneider Electric Foundation, NSDC, Tata Chemical Rural Division (TCSRD), Amit Chandra Foundation, HSBC, Tata Steel Foundation, Aditya Birla, MulticoreWare and MIT- ID. We also have become what we are because of our past partnerships with Google, Rolls Royce, Coca Cola India and PwC. On this digital journey, we have inspiring role models such as Anshu Gupta, the founder of Goonj, Dr. S Arvind, the director of Aravind Eye Care and Bunker Roy, the Founder of Barefoot College.

On 31st December, on the Ganjamleg of the nationwide journey, after the usual morning wake-up calls, the Yatris attended an enlightening talk by Joe Madiath, one of the most known social entrepreneurs in India- the founder of Gram Vikas, a non-governmental organization based in Ganjam, Orissa, which uses concerns for water, sanitation and education to unite and empower rural communities, including Adivasi communities and as recently taken upon the herculean task of preserving electricity in a solar grid with lithium-ion batteries. Madiath’s talk gave fruitful access to how Yatris can develop rural/Adivasi communities in their area of interest and induced a healthy discussion after that, which was apparent in the day-closing Pulse Check of the Yatra, and of course, the New Year Celebrations.