Jagriti Yatra Day Six: Inspired by the twenty-somethings!

It is the sixth day at #JagritiYatra and we have listened and talked to quite a few role models from different verticals to have an idea about what those people faced and planned when they started in their respective fields.

This journey has been an interesting one. There are 450 young people, brimming with ideas and looking for discussions and inspirations to make them work. I have never seen this kind of environment with so many people seriously thinking to shape our society in different ways.

Obvious enough, I find it a learning process for me where everyone looks up to me when they come with some ideas and get stuck as I don’t have a business-mind. I am just the one who talks about any issues that the society might pose when we attempt to build an enterprise.

It is expected of me to clarify some of the concepts that appear basic but we often get confused with. Technology, for an instance, is a great facilitator and enabler to all the businesses today. And people generally take it just as a business proposition. Technology enables us to achieve tremendous results by working on various business models and use it to simplify and structure it.

We met R Madhavan today who believed agriculture should be thought to be a normal job as is IT or anything else. The only problem with agriculture is that it is not seen as something which can give good returns whereas it can increase the productivity three-five fold if the simple scientific techniques are followed.

Normally, farmers don’t go for soil test, flood the fields in the name of irrigation, choke the roots with excess water, place the fertilisers at wrong places and so the produce is neither healthy nor in good quantity. These were some of the myths that he addressed and emphasised how we can follow simple advices and get great returns.

We returned to the train from his village with well spread big farms and organised ways of cultivation. It was a good day for me as I thought on how can I help my father by using his advice. May be, I would do that once I return.

Back in the train, we had a great session of antyakshari which lasted for close to four hours! I felt good to get informal and gel in as everyone, I don’t know why, whether knowing me or not, keeps addressing me as sir and asking me to recite my poems.

In fact, I had quite a few recitations of my poetry in different bogies on request and the most sought after poem was the one which got me fired. And the response was that the college must be unfortunate one.

I met a few of foreign friends from China, US, UK and Australia. The beauty is everyone wants to talk to you. And when you say you teach Indian culture to undergrad kids, they get interested.

Everyone has a story. All amazing. One out scores the other. There are people who travelled from far places, cornered on every time when they thought to rise, pushed to the limits by uncontrolled situations and beat it every single time.

We visit role models to get inspired and here I am with boys and girls in their early twenties who have worked hard to get whatever they did. Struggling at every point, fighting the demons, staring in the face of adversity, they rose and came out victorious.

And you feel humbled when these guys look up to you. I feel so small in front of what their lives have been. Not for the fact that some of them are from premier institutes like IITs and IIMs and have studied outside India but for the simple fact that there are people who had no means to support themselves yet achieved quite a lot.

One is working on to bring all the orphanages on one platform, to connect these kids via Internet and allow them to feel that there is a family out in the wild which can understand what it is to loose their families.

One wasn’t sure what an IIT was and went on to crack it in first attempt and get IIT Bombay (just because it was in his state!). There is one who is working on to get the local craftsmen real value of their work and preserve the various crafts of his native village.

I see people from very humble background realising that there are millions others who are in worse shape. They identify themselves with them. Seeing ones reflection in others is the only way we can even feel an ounce of what the person in front is going through. They know what it feels not to have those crayons which was a luxury for them. They know how tough it can be to wait on a stretcher and see an old lady die just because the doctor didn’t feel like attending to her as she won’t pay him any money!

The world is quite cruel. It needs love. And as one of my fellow Yatris, Yogita, a CA from Pune, explained, love is to love all and not just one person and start ignoring others. Love is something beyond the realms of identity. It transcends in to something bigger where we have a heart big enough to feel the same for all the fellow beings. Love doesn’t ignore, it invites compassion, it invokes a bonding which is pious, sacred and spiritual. Love is the need. Love is what can inspire a revolution inside us and force us to think about the society.

The journey ended its first leg at Chennai till where our main emphasis was on exploration. As we head to Vishakhapattanam, the process of creation with innovation will near.

It will be a new day tomorrow. It will be a great bunch of people with great stories. It will be these twenty-somethings who will set up businesses which not only earns them money but helps the society in serious ways. I am just happy to be a part of it.

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