The Optimist Citizen

A BHU-MBA graduate, who started a Yatra for the youth, to the remote Himalayan Villages

Have you ever wished to go for a holiday to the remotest villages of India to discover their culture? Have you ever thought of taking a break and go for a trip to Himalayas and stroll in the hilly villages of Nepal?

Meet Ritesh Garg, a management professional and an alumnus of FMS – Banaras Hindu University, who created a week long journey of retrospection and self discovery for the youth called Yuva Prerna Yatra in the remote location of the Himalayas to motivate them to become the agents of change.

Yuva Prerna Yatris
Yuva Prerna Yatris

Ritesh conceptualised the Yuva Prerna Yatra where the youth were embarked on a 7 days  journey of self discovery , understood how to harness the nature in a positive manner and practiced the motto of empowerment through enterprise to the highest degree. Until now the Yatra has had a total of 227 participants in 3 years encompassing 25 states and 7 countries where participants ranged from a Gram Pradhan to a student of MIT. His contributions towards the society never diminished . His team also provided relief in the Uttarakhand and Nepal disaster in 2013 and 2015.  Another example of his impeccable contribution to the nature was when, after the Nepal earthquake, Ritesh was deeply moved by the pain and distress of the victims to the extent that he and his team worked for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims for which he designed and built innovative shelter buildings. They built more than 200 shelters for the needy victims in those villages.

The Yatra has changed the lives of many and has created stories of success and achievements. But amongst all these it is the story of Ritesh himself, which laid the foundation of the Yatra itself.

Ritesh Garg, Founder of Yuva Prerna Yatra
Ritesh Garg, Founder of Yuva Prerna Yatra

Ritesh was born in a small village of Roorkee, Uttarakhand. Being from a rural background, he realised the importance of nature and the benefits of a sound ecological very early in his life.  His willingness to help others was embedded at an early age which continued to grow exponentially throughout his  student life. It was during his final year of under graduate study that he posed himself with a monumental challenge of successfully clearing the UPSC examination. After 3 years of continuous toil, he successfully cracked the exam and gave the interview which was the first interview of his life. But fate had something else in the bag for him. He couldn’t clear the interview but never lost hope. Instead he became more determined and understood his true calling which always laid working with the community and not with the bureaucracy. Thus,he decided to pursue MBA and achieved 95 percentile in CAT in just 3 months of preparation. He took admission in the Faculty of management studies – Banaras Hindu University. After his MBA, he chose to work  in the social sector with Jaipur Rugs as an Operations manager wherein he explored remote tribal areas and worked on solutions for sustainable capacity building. While working in the social sector, he worked in 65 villages for the livelihood of the tribal population. After Jaipur rugs he worked as an Operations manager for Tata Jagriti Yatra where he designed their awareness system and visited numerous places and learnt the issues there. Moreover during this period he also explored the remote regions of Himalaya and met locals and entrepreneurs there and learnt their issues most of which were ecological problems. He understood that if the strength of Youth and the local resource base is conjoined together, then it can help solve innumerable solutions. “This thought marked the inception of the concept of Yuva Prerna Yatra” saying Ritesh while remembering his journey.

Ritesh believes that nothing is impossible and he beautifully projects his views by saying, “ICHHAA PAALO TOH ICHHAA PAA LO.” It is changemakers like Ritesh who are the true torch bearers of instilling hope and qualities of hardwork amongst the youth of our generation. It is them who become a true “Prerna” for us and teach us to be changemakers ourselves.

To Join the Yatra, Visit :


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