Jagriti Yatra delegates meet Gram Vikas founder

Updated - September 22, 2016 09:31 pm IST

Published - January 03, 2016 12:00 am IST - BERHAMPUR:

Four-hundred-and-fifty youth delegates of Jagriti Yatra-2015 got down at Berhampur railway station in Odisha this past week to have an interaction with social activist Joe Madiath.

These youths travelled to Mohuda village on the outskirts of Berhampur to reach headquarter of Gram Vikas, an NGO founded and headed by Mr Madiath. He hails from Kerala and has vast experience in social service in underdeveloped regions of Odisha. They tried to learn from his experiences regarding bureaucratic hassles and problems related to the mindset of general public in the path of social service.

Gram Vikas literally means village development with which Mr. Madiath has been linked for over three decades. It was started in Ganjam district to facilitate provision of safe drinking water, toilets and sanitation to the rural public through community participation. Today, Gram Vikas also helps marginalised tribal groups get organised and solve a wide range of social and health problems. Gram Vikas currently serves more than 2,50,000 people in 701 habitations of 21 districts in Odisha.

First Jagriti Yatra, a train journey round the country for selected youths from all over the nation, had been organised in 2008. It is now termed a university-on-wheels. Selected 450 young talents of Jagriti Yatra take up a journey of 8,000 kilometres in 15 days to touch 12 destinations by a special train. During this journey, they meet role model social and business entrepreneurs, who are developing innovative solutions to meet India’s developmental needs and challenges. This year’s selection had been made from over 17,000 applications from youths. The youth delegates of recent Jagriti Yatra are from 36 States and Union Territories along with delegates from 15 other countries.

According to organisers of this unique annual train journey, during past seven years they have formed alumni of over 3,200 in 240 districts of India. Several of these alumni have used their experience to become successful entrepreneurs in their own region. Success of Jagriti Yatra has also led to its replication as ‘Millennial Train Journey’ in America and ‘Ticket for Change’ journey in France.

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