Is It Worth Going On The Jagriti Yatra?

Some of you might remember me taking part in the Jagriti Yatra (previously Tata Jagriti Yatra) and writing about it. This was in 2010.

Lately, many folks I know are being selected for the yatra, which can only mean that my circle has some amazing people in it. Attending the yatra isn’t free, and most of them wont quality for a full sponsorship. Currently the cost of the yatra is 46,500 INR. Getting to the location and other expenses can easily make the total cost of the yatra at about 50,000 INR.

50k isn’t cheap. My college tuition fees for 4 years was about 26k. Most software professionals getting started with their career would have to toilΒ  for 2 or even 3 months to make 50k. So when they ask, ‘Is it worth going to the Jagriti Yatra’, I can try and understand their question.

Short Answer: If you can afford it. Yes!

Long Answer:

Jagriti Yatra is not a program that will teach you stuff or show you how to do stuff. Think of it as putting together 350 or so amazing young people in a train with some 75 or so more amazing people. And then take them around India for 15 days. Eating, sleeping and bathing in the train.

A Moment From TJY 2010
A Moment From TJY 2010

Here is one thing I know for sure. If you are just in the train keeping to yourself and hoping for the organizers to feed stuff to you, the only thing you are gonna eat is the food they serve. Oh, and if you survive the trip, you will win bragging rights and can fill in your profile pages with photos and an “I have been on a train across India for 15 days” badge.

But if you let go off your ego and start listening to the people around you, I have no estimate of the things you might learn. Everyone in there will be someone with a story. Someone who is making a difference and is trying to make a change for the better.

I cannot quantify what I have learned from the yatra. However, here is a brief list that I can think of.

  • I have very few close friends and I met 3 of them in the yatra.
  • Surviving in the train for 18 days (it was 18 days then instead of 15) is not easy. You become disoriented. There is no personal space. The food smells like pantry car. There are no luxuries so to speak. It’s grueling. It was the biggest physical and mental challenge for me at that time, and that gave me confidence to attempt bigger ones.
  • After traveling for 9000 kms, a 100km hike feels easy and doable. I have never done that on foot; I have done a 130 on a bicycle though. Still, if that day comes, I know I am up for it.
  • I was at a real low point in my life when I went for the yatra. One night a few of us were waiting on this platform with my group mentor and that talk helped me put things into perspective. It eventually helped me to make important career choices.
  • I have associated with the people I have known from the yatra on multiple occasions. The network you build is one of its kind.
  • I have bragged about the tour and the stories from the yatra many a times. Like the time we sneaked out and went to Jamshedpur to eat chicken. Or how we planned to make an escape and go to Goa.
  • I got the first hand experience to interact and learn from multiple MBA graduates and I have used those lessons and their assistance ever since throughout my career.
  • This list will never be a complete list. Jagriti Yatra is an experience. Like the Matrix. You have to see it for yourself.

The long answer is still the same. If you think you can indulge with the people you are gonna meet with an open mind and try and learn from them and obviously if you can afford it, I think you should not miss out on the opportunity.

Wish you good luck and Godspeed!


32 responses to “Is It Worth Going On The Jagriti Yatra?”

  1. Nice one again man πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks mister! That photo of ours is one of my favorites. Its so perfect. There is the TJY hat and the train and its such a great pose!

    1. Look who decided to show up finally! That’s from our Yatra man πŸ™‚

  2. Anand Choupane Avatar
    Anand Choupane

    Man, I saw a post of you asking for someone to sponser you how did you manage to pay the yatra fees. Currently the yatra fees are about 51k and I think I will end up spending around 55-56k. So do you know someone or some org that can help people?

    1. I ended up paying it myself man. I do not know anyone who would sponsor, but my suggestion is that you contact your college alumni and ask for it. Writing to the organizers can also help you, if you cannot absolutely pay it, they will give you at least part sponsorship. Good luck.

  3. Hey Arun,

    Thanks for putting it into perspective. I did not qualify for a sponsorship and the fees for the Yatra is 59,000. I’ll be skipping the XAT for JT 2015. What do you suggest me to do?


    1. Depends on what your priorities are man. XAT sounds like a management aptitude test. There are is an old saying that goes something like, “People who are smart enough to do business does not need to study it”.

      No offense to anyone who is pursuing MBA.

      1. Haha, I understand. I want to study Finance. Hence, opting for an MBA.
        I have been working and I can afford it partially. I have asked my family for the rest. But the fees still seems a bit too much! God knows why I didn’t opt for the Level 2 sponsorship.
        Did you have any luck finding sponsors?


        1. You can still email the organizers and ask for a sponsorship. I never got any. Dad helped πŸ™‚

        2. I emailed then. They say I should have selected the sponsorship level while submitting the application. They advised me to look for funds through my socio-professional contacts.
          I guess in the end I’ll end up asking my dad as well.
          Thanks for all the info man πŸ™‚
          Let’s see how this year’s JY pans out.

          Warm Regards,

        3. How did it pan out? I am assuming you will be back soon.

  4. i am looking for a buyer for my kidney. As soon as i am able yo sell one, ill be on the yatra. Afterall it will change my life-Ill makr so called “friends forever” and ill travel in train which is rrally big deal. Please, soneone buy my kidney.

    1. I think you should sell both your kidneys instead of just one. The train wont have enough room for your ego and your other kidney.

  5. Georgia Avatar


    Arun/ Rahul

    I was just researching Jagriti Yatra and came upon your article here.
    Just curious to see if Rahul ended up finding the funds to attend?

    Kind regards,

    1. Hey Georgia,

      I did not find sponsorship. Not sure about Rahul.


  6. Hey Arun,

    Thanks for volunteering and taking all efforts in sharing the experience & tips. My query is more like a confusion. I applied it for twice and didn’t get selected. I had applied for the full sponsorship both the times. The confusion is whether my form was rejected from all categories or just for the full sponsorship, which I am aware has less capacity. And now it’s too late to inquire perhaps. But, in case if you have any idea over this, do respond back. I feel if the organizers start communicating why the application is rejected, it will make a huge difference. If not a subjective response then an objective one suggesting that a change in the category of application can get you selected. I am not sure how far this suggestion shall be paid heed, but certainly if it comes from a yatri himself, it could!! keep writing, keep growing!! All the best.

    1. Hey Manohar,

      I think almost everyone applies for a full sponsorship. I applied for one myself, but I didn’t get any sponsorship. I got selected regardless. So I do not think its a category thing. It would have to do with your application.

      The best thing to do is to give them a call to see what happened. It’s only August, so its not too late yet. The year I went, there were people who got in even on the very last week. I don’t know how they do it now.

      Give them a call and tell them you will somehow figure out a way to pay in full. Show them your enthusiasm and that will go a long way. That’s what I would do.

      Good luck man.

  7. A. K. Yogesh Chandra Avatar
    A. K. Yogesh Chandra


    Nice write up. Gives insight as to what to expect on a personal level. I got selected for the JY2016. I used the money saved up to buy a bike. So money is not the issue.
    My problem is that currently I’m pursuing a PG Diploma course and there is slight possibility of having exams in the first week of January, 2017. Thereby clashing with the yatra.
    It’s not yet confirmed and a miracle can happen (a.k.a strike/harthal, common feature in TVM) but I’m still anxious if I would lose the opportunity to attend the yatra. :'(
    I checked up on the refund/deferral policy but I’m not sure if they would accept my case. Hence instead of asking the organizers directly. I miraculously found you and feel asking you, here in this blog, is a better idea than to jump to conclusions.
    Any advice?
    Please reply.

    1. Hey man, First thing is to find out if you will have the exam during the first week of January. I suppose you can call the university and such?

      Once you know as much as you can, and if you have an exam in the first week, call up Jagriti yatra and ask them about the refund. Did you already pay for it?

      I don’t know about your university, but most universities will let you take the exam the next time if you are absent for one. So maybe you could write it in the next semester?

      1. A. K. Yogesh Chandra Avatar
        A. K. Yogesh Chandra

        I asked various sources and tried my level best to find out solid news regarding my exams. But unfortunately it’s still highly unpredictable. There is no guarantee regarding the tentative dates until they publish the official exam datesheet. Until then I have to wait anxiously. I can’t afford to write these exams next time (they will come only after a year thereby I will lose a whole year waiting for the exams)

        I have already paid for the Yatra and my question was not regarding refund. The purpose of my question was to know if the administration can postpone my candidature to the next year’s Yatra (ie if my case is in accordance with their deferral policy).

        I was hoping you could use your contacts as you’ve been associated with the Yatra once to enquire about my current situation. I sincerely request you to please help me out if you can.
        Thanking you in advance _/\_

        1. Hey Yogesh, I do not have any friends in the organizing committee. Just give them a call and explain your situation. They are very friendly and accommodating people.

          Good luck!

  8. Hi Arun,

    Thanks a lot for your article! I have got selected for JY 2016 and I’m looking for sponsors presently – focusing on meeting corporates who have CSR initiatives in the field of education. Any tips on how to figure out organisations to apply for scholarship?

    1. Hey Raj, congrats on getting selected.

      I was not able to find a sponsorship myself, so I would be the wrong person to answer, but you could try writing to your college alumni and they might want to sponsor you.

      Good luck!

  9. Gautam Singh Avatar
    Gautam Singh

    Hi Arun,

    Thanks for such a precise gist answering the question if the yatra is worth attending. So, I can afford it, and hence your ‘short answer’ was encouraging. A few points I want to highlight/ask:

    1) I am a recent graduate. My interests in entrepreneurship has only declined in recent years, after it has become a trend, and after I could not find a firm answer to why I want to be an entrepreneur. Hence, somewhere it feels that I am not one of those ‘network building’ prospect. I would like to know from you, what is the composition of Yatra. What were you at the time you attended the Yatra?

    2) I don’t want this to be a spoiler for myself, but what exactly is Jagriti Yatra, and how do you wish one should prepare for that recalling your mistakes, missed out opportunities, if any…

    3) This is last. After much of thought, contemplation, I have finally been able to understand what work I would enjoy. I am patriotic, not in the legendary terms, but yes, want the dot product of my efforts and India’s welfare as high as possible. I am an IT guy by profession, currently. Through this Jagriti Yatra, I want to give a direction to my patriotism…How possible does this sound?

    Apologies for this long inquiry, however I will be glad if I can receive some insight. Thanks.

    1. Hey Gautam,

      I apologize for being late, I am not sure if you already went on the train this year. But for the sake of completion, and so that someone else might benefit from it, let me try to answer.

      1. At the time I went on the yatra, I was fresh out of college and I was still very interested in starting up. I was working in sales before I went for the yatra. After the yatra, I quit sales and started up within a month.

      2. Try to meet ‘everyone’ on the train. Be involved in all the activities and talk to all your mentors. If you are seeking answers, ask questions that spur discussions.

      3. This is hard to answer. The yatra might give you an insight into what rural India is like. It might give you a friend who might end up being your partner. Networking truly is the greatest outcome of the Yatra. Everything else can be achieved without it. For example, if you want to see rural India, you can do it on your own.

      Say you want to start a service that helps farmers and you want to know more about their problems, doing it on your own will be much more effective and cheaper. But instead if you want to have a discussion about it and have some life experience thrown at your idea, then Yatra would be the place to be.

      I hope I make some sense. Did you travel this year? What did you think?

  10. Bharadwaj Avatar

    Hi Arun,
    I’m interested in joining JY2017 for which the applications are open now!
    So, I would like to know some suggestions on How to answer the application to increase the possibilities of getting selected for JY2017.

    Besides, that what are those levels (Level 1 contribution, Level 2 Contribution, Level 3 Contribution) of scholarships. What would you suggest me to get full or partial scholarships for my trip from the organizers?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hey Bharadwaj,

      Jagriti Yatra has a focus on social entrepreneurship. So project all your contributions and interests that help the society. I am not sure what Levels mean, you should write about that to the organizers.

      To get a scholarship, start by applying for it. Once you are selected they will ask for your family’s income proof to make sure that you need the money. It’s a fairly straight forward process.

      Good luck man!

  11. Hey Arun,
    I’ve been selected for attending JY’17. Your article has increased my curiosity to the next level. Thanks for spreading the positivity man πŸ™‚

    1. Congrats Vinodh. Glad to see that you are doing your research, which is the right way to go. I am sure you will make the most of it πŸ™‚

  12. Neha Mittal Avatar
    Neha Mittal

    It’s such a nice article. Thanks for all the insights.
    I have been selected for JY17 and like others who have posted above, I too have not got the scholarship. My only question is till when you can deposit the fee amount? It would be really helpful if you have any idea.
    Thanks in advance πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Neha,

      Congrats on getting selected πŸ™‚

      Do not consider this as an official answer, I am in no way connected to the organizers. However, if I remember correctly, there were yatri’s who paid even in the last week when I traveled.

      Your best bet is to give them a call and explain your situation. They will work with you on this.

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