Jagriti Yatra Day Ten: Why so serious?

There comes a time when mere ideas don’t suffice, you ought to get on the ground and face realities. You feel serious inclination to do things. You perspectives change as you explore. Your prejudices get smashed up and horizons are widened.

I had a chat with a friend, Yogita, who had a different vision before she started the Yatra but as we moved from one city to another and saw various societies, she was appalled for the fact that people didn’t have bathrooms or even drinking water.

It happens with all of us that we at times, due to various limitations, don’t have any idea of the reality. The reality changes from one place to another and the severity changes our whole thinking process and astounds us in ways which leave us almost hurt.

Today, we visited Taru Mitra in Digha Ghat, Patna which worked for preservation of environment via various techniques to cater to the need of energy with non conventional ways. We met Dr SN Saran, cofounder of DESI (Decentralised Energy Systems India) Power who talked about various non conventional ways like electricity production using biomass, gassifier etc.

We had a good field day which was on Xavier’s a Institute of Social Research where we discussed many other things as well. There were certain 101 sessions on different things related to funding, start ups, finances etc to give us an insight in to how we plan for new businesses.

Another session was by Yog Japee, a theatre person, about managing self and our team to ensure that core clues are reflected through out the organisation. His was a great session. I liked the part where he talked about knowing our non-negotiatiables and to what extent we should be compromising while pitching our ideas or accepting funding.

Overall it was a good day spent. Tomorrow we will be visiting another village in Deoria, UP. There, we will be given one village per group to study various issues under our verticals and come up with actual solutions that can help the community.

The solution shouldn’t be superficial or weird. Many of us just don’t have any connect with the villages. We just assume it to be something which is based on our myopic exposure. We must stay away from assumptions. Assumptions can really hinder the processes that we plan to adopt as reality can be really different.

We must also refrain from proposing ideas that are outrageously ridiculous like trying to fuse a scooter and a thela to make a low cost ambulance! That is simply farcical and idiotic to assume. And weirder it will be if you say, “let’s sell vegetable on the roof of the covered thela.”

We need to do some reality check. We need to meet people who are actually from villages. People who know how the cultural aspirations and apprehensions can become issues even if our intentions are right. Joe Mediath had to do a lot of convincing to village guys to use the 4×4 bathroom as they enjoyed defecating in the open fields!

Seriousness has to be there. Even if we won’t be the ones who will return to the villages, there would be Jagriti to capitalise on it later. That’s the whole idea where the emphasis is on replication of whatever model that we propose for a particular district.

I and my group sat for two hours in the evening trying to discover the deliverables and the mechanism or ways of delivery. After giving the some hard facts about education in India and the normal challenges that society is struggling with, I emphasised on which should be the main area we should focus.

There are certain issues that are simple and vividly identifiable in Indian educational frame work. Issues of human and physical infrastructure, electricity, limitations of information technology are more or less the story of an average Indian village. So we tried to make things work with existing set of problems.

Tomorrow we will visit the villages and we will chart out our final business plan. I had to do a lot of research to address to these issues. Having an internet connection on the move is really helpful.

The idea is to be grounded in reality and stay away from superficial planning. I have a good team with lot of international perspective which I need to capitalise in order to facilitate better. They are the guys who are serious and structured in thoughts, though less aware of issues here.

I hope it becomes a great product which is simple to present and execute, has scalability as well as replicability, which the Jagriti Yatra aims for.

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