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Jagriti Yatra — a better India starts with 450 youth on a train for 15 days, journeying all around the nation

Board the famous Indian Railways for an 8,000-km journey that will transform you from a job seeker to a job creator.

Photo of Karolle Rabarison
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Jagriti Yatra drives development through enterprise and works to transform young people from job seekers to job creators. 

During a 15-day, 8,000-km train journey across India, youth:
  • come to understand how enterprise can serve the needs of towns and villages
  • interact with and receive mentorship from successful entrepreneurs around the country (covering 7 areas including edu, health, ag, energy, etc.)
  • build skills through specialized workshops and collaborative projects


Many youth who participate are from middle-class background, and the organization has a history of offering scholarships to expand access to the program. — Bonus: Young women currently make up 40% of participating yatris, and efforts are under way to push towards 50/50.

After running the train journey for five years, the organization is now working to build and strengthen an "enterprise network"—a support system for young entrepreneurs—which in the longer term will come to have physical locations, serving as incubators.

Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone. And promoting entrepreneurship shouldn't be seen as the (only) way to solve youth unemployment. Some would argue growth in entrepreneurship is actually a symptom of systemic unemployment. Nevertheless, for those with the gutso to lean entrepreneurial, the likes of Jagriti Yatra are great examples of programs that support young people to define a purpose and connect them to the resources to fulfill it.

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Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Great story Karolle.
I also agree with your 2 points about entrepreneurship: 1. the increased focus on it might be symptomatic of unemployment: we can't give you a job, so start your business; 2. entrepreneurship is not for everyone. However, as you stressed the value of such an experiment. Moreover, even if you don't end up starting a business, it will teach you a lot. Last, while not everyone can / should be an entrepreneur, being entrepreneurial (i.e creative and proactive) is crucial for everyone see for example the article I posted: https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/research/need-a-job-invent-it

Photo of Sagar Tandon

I just can't agree with you more. Your post is fab.

Photo of Karolle Rabarison

Right on, AL. I have never (and still don't) consider myself an entrepreneur, but what I've learned the past couple years is that I very much have (and have grown) an entrepreneurial spirit. And it's in large part thanks to interaction with a network of entrepreneurs and the space and support for me to experiment with my own small bets. For me, it's become more of a problem solving approach while I'm within a larger organization, and my work is all the better for it.

Photo of Anne-Laure Fayard

Karolle, completely agreed with you! :-)

By the way, check this other train project: https://openideo.com/challenge/youth-employment-pathways/research/crowd-funded-transcontinental-train-journey-that-pairs-young-innovators-mentors

Photo of Meena Kadri

Might be a good idea to connect to this post via your Build Upon feature to help others here join the dots on entrepreneurship-on-the-move initiatives.

Photo of Karolle Rabarison

Fun fact: just discovered that the founder of TMP did the yatra in 2011, the same trip done by the friend who introduced this org to me. He was so impressed with the journey and young people on board that he decided to start a US version.

Photo of Meena Kadri

My, my – that **IS** a fun fact!

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