Be a Change Agent, Join Himalayan Yuva Prerna Yatra: Anil Jaggi, Founder President, SFID

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By Rusen Kumar

DEHRADUN: Himalayan Yuva Prerna Yatra (HYPY) is being organized in Uttarakhand under the kind aegis of Society For Inclusive Development (SFID) between May 25 to 29, 2013. The “Himalayan Yuva Prerna Yatra” will be a biannual bus journey of 1000 kms that would comprise selected 100 highly motivated youths from urban and rural India which would represent to be an eye opening, awakening, motivating and inspirational Himalayan Odyssey. During the journey, these partakers would have interactions and meetings meet with some of the exceptional “Champions of Change”, “the Unsung Heroes”, who not only dared to dream but have transformed their dreams into real enterprises by leveraging the local resources and bringing prosperity to the region. This will also inspire the visiting team members to correlate their activities for their own areas and spur them on to create such enterprises on their own.

Anil Jaggi, Founder President- Society For Inclusive Development (SFID) shares his vision and motive of “Himalayan Yuva Prerna  Yatra” with Rusen Kumar, Editor, IndiaCSR.

Let us read out his own expressions of the Yatra in an exclusive interview herein:

In India we have a tradition of conducting Yatras to wage awareness among people of certain social, religious or political issues. How the “Himalayan Yuva Prerna Yatra” is different from them and what is the motive behind?

Yes, its true that ours is a country of Yatra’s and marches, but if you look at the history part, the objective of all yatras are different  from one to the other, yet their mission were to create mass awareness about some burning issues in the country at that  time.

We are also organising a Yatra, may be for very different purpose.  As its name suggests “Yuva Prerna” so the target here are the youth of India from rural and urban background, who have power, passion and vision to change the landscape of the country through their visionary leadership of entrepreneurship, and what  they need is some direction, exposure and mentoring to take right step in right direction.

Initial sensitization and interaction with field champions during this Yatra will help them to have better understanding of local social, cultural and environmental issues and therewith emerging opportunities as well. Direct exposure and interaction with “Change Agents” during  5 days Yatra would have a wider and effective impact on them, which our traditional class room sessions fails to deliver.

As we know India is soon becoming a country in the world with highest number of younger people, where the average age bracket would be of 18 to 35 years, we need to ponder about deeply so as to how this huge potential country could be lead upon. And thus not missing any opportunity. But if we create platform for them to get trained, think differently and make them change agents and leaders, we can lead the world with many budding Naryan Murthys, Sam Pitrodas, Dr. M. Yunuses and Dr. Kuriens etc.

HYPY is one such endeavour to mobilise our youths, bring them under one banner, create space  for them to think independently, fearlessly and act on the basis of knowledge they gain in the process and become “Job creators rather than Job Seekers”.

Himalayan Yuva Prerna Yatra (HYPY) is first its kind and we have specifically selected the region of Central Himalayas with clear mission that Himalayas had always been the source of positive energy, knowledge, spirituality, with rich natural biodiversity and it is the origin of sacred Ganga and Yamuna, the lifeline of Northern India. But general saying here is that you can’t stop “Paani and Jawani” (Water and youth) of the region. We would like to take this holistic mission a bit ahead from Ganga and Yamuna to other parts of the country and empower our youths with knowledge of community centric entrepreneurship, who are socially responsible, ethical and environmentally conscious.

When would this Yatra commence from?

The “Himlayan Yuva Prerna Yatra” will commence from base camp from Dehradun on 25th May 2013 and after 4/5 days of travelling, trekking, learning, camping, open and interactive sessions with field champions, developing case studies, presentation, and off course with some fun. The team will be back and end the Yatra on May 29th at Dehradun.

How did this very idea of conducting such Yatra come to your mind?

As our SFID is already working on various socio-economic issues for past one decade at regional and global level and we can see that there is major shift in working approach of multilateral agencies as well as grassroots NGOs/Civil Society Organization (CSOs) to make their development programs self-sustainable and socially responsible without depending on external funds. Another challenge we face today is large number of migration from rural to urban areas in search of employment opportunities, and if we are able to create micro level rural enterprises in migration prone areas, I am sure enough that this will help us to create new employment opportunities in the region and check migrations.

With our new team of young management experts like Ritesh Garg, Alumni of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and IT Expert Deepak Kakkar, mentors and advisor Prof.H.C.Choudhary of FMS/BHU, Prof.Vinay Nangia of IIT Roorkee and another passionate social entrepreneur Mr.Manoj Sharma, we have finalised this model of Yuva Prerna. We have another team of national and international advisors like Mr. SK Patra, Ms. Loshni Naidoo from Durban, Ms. Bavani Naidoo from Irland, Dr.Tanya Jakimow from Australia and Mr. Rusen Kumar, Director of IndiaCSR are continuously supporting and guiding this mission.

How are you going to involve the youth to the “Himalyan Yuva Prerna Yatra”? Have you worked out certain procedure for the same?

Anil Jaggi: We have launched dedicated website www.yuvaprernayatra.org for the purpose, using  new age information and communication technology (ICT) tools like blogs, social media, Facebook to reach out youths of the country. We are also getting serious enquires from other countries like Europe, Pacific and South Asian countries. We would like to share that within 24 hrs of our official launch, we received more than 200 registrations on our website from 24 different states, which has now crossed over 500, and we are expecting to get 5000 registrations by the end of April. Indirect reach of our announcement has crossed 400,000 marks, which is records in itself in such short span of time.

Our team would screen the list and will select only 100 passionate and dynamic participants keeping our commitment that will comprise urban as well as rural regions of the country with the good mix of males and females.

What is the strength of youth participating this Yatra?

We have setup some procedures to select passionate and experienced participants with strong entrepreneurs’ zeal. After our standard assessments of selection, we will announce the first list of selected participants by March 20, 2013.

With 100 passionate youths participating in Yatra from all over India and abroad, we are sure its   going to be a complete learning curve for each one of us. The real challenge will be to convert them into real entrepreneurs, connect them with right mentors, provide funding linkages and make them successful model under our mentoring division Yatra Tantra and Udham Shala and I think this transformation will be our greatest strength.

How any organizations have associated in this noble cause?

Yuva Prerna LogoThanks for asking this very interesting question, as this is not our commercial venture and we do not want to do this in isolation, we are seeking support, networking with like-minded  organizations, individuals, Governments., Academia, Venture Capitalist (VCs), foreign investors and Corporate World to come forward and support our endeavor of “Empowerment through Enterprise”. As mentioned earlier, we are going to have participation from rural India and may be some of the interested and deserving participants are not in a position to afford their own registration, so we seek sponsorship to meet these expenses, sponsorship to support some participants from rural and economically weaker background, which can be fully or partial sponsored.

What results you expect on the conclusion of this Yatra?

After the end of HYPY we will call and select 10 most innovative, community centric and socially responsible business models, which can later join our Prerna Tantra and Udhamshala. Under   which these shortlisted projects will get all type of business incubation and mentoring to make them successful entrepreneurs.

This is going to be a direct impact of the HYPY, but indirect impact would be much larger and would bring major transformation in the basic thought process of our young population.

We will make it biannual event and take it further to other regions also, which otherwise are under-developed, isolated, neglected with high migration rates of young populations and low economic  activities.

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