4 AM Mumbai Station. All 400 of us roared when a train approached the platform. That train was going to be our home for the next 15 days. Each 8ft*8ft*10ft compartment had to be shared by seven Yatris (participants), as we travelled 8000kms across India to meet inspiring leaders.
“Where are you from?” I asked an American on train.
“Main Bihar se hu” (I am from Bihar) he replied in Hindi. I was stunned to hear an American speak Hindi. I interrogated him and learned that he moved from NYC to start a non-profit in Bihar, India.
I met another guy and asked his story, “What made you drop a year at IIT Bombay?”
“I saw a ray of hope in the Aam Aadmi Party (a new political party in India) and hence decided to campaign for it” he said.
There were other Yatris who were running publishing house, for-profit startups, training institutes, political consultancies. There were others who were social film makers, fashion enthusiasts, climate change activists, public speakers. While listening to their stories I smiled, felt their pain, saw their passion, and even witnessed moist eyes.
Every single day, I questioned myself, my actions, my goals, my ambitions. Am I making this world a better place? Am I doing enough? Can more be done? Before starting Jagriti Yatra, I always thought that the train journey would be challenging, but in reality the inner journey was the difficult one. This inner journey has shaped my belief and will continue to fuel my actions for the rest of my life:
“Success without creating a significant impact on human lives is no success at all.”