The Ray Of Light In Rural India – Bunker Roy

A man who managed to change the definition of villages, a man who was amongst Times’ 100 most influential personalities in 2010 for his work in educating illiterate and semi-literate Indians and a man who brought about a revolutionary impact in rural India with his willpower and intelligence had led on to an inspirational journey a few decades back. He created a place for learners, seekers and for anyone looking to contribute. What followed ever since then is simply history making its way into the future; for today is revolutionary.
Mr Roy founded Barefoot College in the year 1972. An institute that teaches rural women and men; many of whom are illiterate, to become self-sufficient. With this initiative came a night school in the year 1975 from which until today, about 75000 students have passed and 80%  have stayed back in the village.
Like each one of us, Mr Roy has had his bad times too. The darkest moments for him have been the ones when he could not convince his kind that there’s a way forward. There’s an alternative, which is an indigenous Indian way of looking at things.
We constantly deal with our negatives, flaws and fears. Mr Roy has one concern too…He fears that locals may lose the capacity to learn new things. He feels that the transition of someone who has done extraordinary work has actually come to a stage where they don’t want to learn something new.
How can we replicate Barefoot College model?
-Fight with your parents and stay in a village for 6 months.
-Challenge yourself and come to Tilonia
– You won’t be offered any monetary gains but you will have a family.
Quotes by Mr Roy
“We don’t have to show our degree to prove our worth.”
“What I have as a human being is more important than what I have with a piece of paper”
“1000s of people living in Delhi, Mumbai and cities similar look at coming to a village as a failure. That’s not true. Villages are the very roots.”
“We cannot have an urban solution to a rural problem”
“Future lies in how you decentralise.”
“Improve the quality of people in villages so they don’t migrate to cities”
“What I have as a human being is more important than what I have with a piece of paper”
“Never ask any individual about its qualification, that just doesn’t matter. What matters are the skills that are possessed, developed and put to use…”
Author Rights: Pooja Akula, ERC 2017

JY 2017: At The Magical Land Of Deoria

If you have been a part of Jagriti Yatra, you would have heard the name “Deoria” a hundred times. Various sessions, workshops and inspirational talks have always had this name being mentioned as an example of “building the nation through enterprise.” Deoria is one of the most awaited destinations for a yatri and the team. It marks the beginning of the very first JY district project and thus, is special for the entire team. Mr Shashank Mani, the chairman of Jagriti with his noble vision started building Deoriya from the very scratch. A village that lacked basic amenities like toilet,  sanitation and electricity was now a part of one transformational revolution.
Finally, on the 11th day of the JY 2018 rail journey, yatris headed to this beautiful district of Deoria and spent a night at Barpar village. The day started pretty early with freezing temperature being a distraction but yet not hampering the spirit. Tours to nearby villages were organised wherein yatris were divided into several groups to conduct their market research for Biz Gyan Project. Each group was assigned a specific vertical for the on-ground analysis that made them interact with locals, children, authorities etc. The insights later helped the groups prepare for their BGT presentation with a realistic approach that was scheduled to happen at the end of the day.
After a healthy meal, yatris visited Jagriti Enterprise Centre-Purvanchal (JECP) an upcoming Jagriti centre with multiples facilities like co-working space, digital library, innovation centre, etc. Post this activity, preparations for the BGT presentation were observed in full swing. The evening felt energetic having a sense of competitive spirit as yatris stood to compete against each other for the best BGT project title. Ideas on various enterprise verticals like water, sanitation, technology, education, manufacturing, health, etc were presented in innovative ways and a cheerful night followed thereafter.
This visit to Deoria certainly encouraged budding entrepreneurs and enterprise builders to contribute towards the growth and development of middle India; the real India.
Author credits: Pooja Akula, ERC 2017

Jagriti Enterprise Mela: Enterprises showcase their products/services to yatris

Jagriti Enterprise Mela is a healthy compilation of brands belonging to a number of verticals. It is a platform that caters to every area of development and contributes to each. The second edition of JEM held on the 28th of December, 2017 at Bangalore was no different. Brands across India exhibited their very best at the venue and left no stone unturned in terms of creativity and growth plans. Yatris on board had the golden opportunity of engaging with these brands and being a part of their projects.

Following are brands who belong to different verticals and were a part of JE/M 2017.

Arts, Culture and Media:

Mudhouse Experiential Hostels-

Mudhouse is a hostel located in Jibhi, Tirthan Valley, Himachal Pradesh and is completely made of mud contributing to sustainability. It is heaven for people who are in search of some peace and refreshment in the mountains. It majorly entertains a creative audience as its guests and often conducts events like open mic, artist gathering, wall painting etc.

“Mudhouse is home to artists, painters, writers, performers and creative souls who meet and greet, associate in the mountains and go around exploring places together” -Rahul Bhardwaj, owner of Mudhouse.

Your Quote-

A writer’s delight, Your Quote is a relatively new platform for microblogging content, majorly pouring in from writers. Anybody and everybody with original content in various forms like poetries, shayaris, blogs, one-liners etc can contribute and gain the attention of fellow writers and brands who occasionally look out for content on the website. Your Quote is an initiative of two IIT-Delhi graduates-Harsh and Ashish.                            

Water and Sanitation:


Uger has been promoting menstrual health for over 15 years now and is extremely passionate about eliminating waste generated through disposable pads that contain chemicals. The cotton protection pads are sustainable, reasonable and easy to use for women and can be reused multiple times for about a year.

“Uger cotton pads offer the luxury of disposable pads in terms of designs while retaining all benefits of a cloth; like keeping the body cold and letting air pass…” says Smriti Kedia, co-owner


Boondh is an organisation that primarily focuses on women’s menstrual health. Bharti, founder of the entity started this for-profit organisation with an aim of shaping an environmentally friendly product and creating awareness about menstrual hygiene. Women in villages, local communities and corporates are educated about menstrual hygiene and habits through regular programs hosted by the organisation. So far, Boondh has reached over 2500 women and is in the process of expansion.



Save Globe is a firm that has pledged to bring about ‘Anti Plastic Revolution” and thus replaces plastic products with wooden and bamboo. The product list includes a number of useful commodities like containers, spoons, bowls, straws, etc. Save Globe also specialises in producing different kinds of bags that are absolutely eco-friendly. Moreover, the brand has been organising awareness programs since 2011 educating people about the ill effects of plastic usage.


Hyprote promises to serve protein bars and cookies having the best taste and health quality.

Every bar contains 20 grams of top grade protein from whey and milk along with high fiber context and less saturated fat. It is a great deal for health-conscious souls looking for quick, handy munchies.

Energy and Environment:


The sole aim of Selco is to bring about a sustainable solution for every problem. It believes that a lot of major issues can be solved if solutions carrying the factor of sustainability are implemented. The company majorly works for villages having no source of energy in different parts of India like Orissa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc. Over the years, Selco has been a prime contributor in providing the underprivileged with commodities like solar-powered sewing and roti rolling machines, egg incubator, blacksmith blower, etc and has made an impact on positive.


With an aim of providing sustainable energy to every human, Schneider Electric strives to attain its goal by combining innovative technologies and business models, investment and training. It believes that it is the very basic right of every human to avail energy sources and that it can be attained over the next few years.


Simplifying the process of filing RTI in India, RTI online is founded by Mr. Pradeep Bhat an IIT alumni and ex-Nokia employee. Online is an initiative to help Indians seek valuable information, skip the long and tiring process of filing RTI and enable hassle-free procedure. Although the brand faces challenges like lack of awareness about RTI amongst people, it is constantly making improvements to make an impact. So far, about 1.5 lakh RTI have been filed through this platform.


TII fellowships-

TII is a fellowship program for social entrepreneurs that lasts for 2 years with 6 years of Incubation. It is founded by Krishna Gopal GV (founder of ALC India). This brand helps individuals find work in social entrepreneurship sectors where efficiency has proved to be 100%. The first batch of social entrepreneurs are going to graduate in 2018 and will be proudly incubated for next 6 years. The ultimate goal is to create 460 entrepreneurs in next 5 years.

Young innovators-

Young innovators is an extended course based on Astrophysics, auro modelling, and robotics.  It is founded by Mr. Bharat AJ and has given 22 sessions extended course for students along with their regular subjects, eventually aiming to increase literacy rate. Currently, Young Innovators are struggling to make this course a compulsory one with branches for schools throughout the country.



A Bangalore based agriculture startup, Farmizen solves the problem of chemically preserved unhealthy food in our food chain. It is founded by Shameek Chakraborty-, an ISB alumni, and Ex-Yahoo employee. Farmizen is building a food ecosystem where mini-farms are controlled by their consumers to make sure the harvest is 100% organic. Despite facing hurdles of uncertainty, Farmizen proudly has 300 active users along with 5 farms.

Green path-

Green path is working to bring about affordability and increase the limited supply of organic food. Their goal is to create organic food outlets around the country and have already catered for Bhoomi college (800 individuals ) along with exhibiting at national and international trade fairs. Other than catering they are running awareness workshops, cooking and farming workshop to help potential consumers understand where the food is coming from.



E-laj is an enterprise working in digitalisation of primary health clinics (PHC). It is founded by Dr. Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon and has 20 such PHC operations in Karnataka and Rajasthan with approximately 2 lakh foot fall over the span of 2 years. E-Laj is solving the problem of documentation in medical industry, digitalising prescriptions, case histories of patients and test results. As our medical industry is heavily dependent on handwritten prescriptions and documentation, Elaj is facing some hurdles in acceptance and digitalisation of old patient records. is an enterprise based out of Bangalore who is trying to create healthy habits. Founded by Mr Prithvi Reddy (Yatri’13), a BITS alumni, is working on a moto that says prevention is better than cure. The brand connects Google calendars to your habit schedule and posts videos, audios and texts. There are still some hurdles in the acceptance part as most individuals have this mentality of curing the disease when it shows up; on contrary is struggling hard to change this mentality.