What a young Ukrainian expert in international relations can learn traveling for 15 days with 450 people by Indian train

“What will it take to create a better India?” Olga Usachova asked herself this year during Jagriti Yatra, a 15-day train journey of social awakening around the Indian subcontinent. She enjoyed the ride and ended up thinking how to create a better Ukraine, Usachova’s country of birth.

“I learned about the program from my friend from Russia. I learned about it by chance, and now I am very grateful to him for this piece of advice,” shares Olga.

2012 Jagriti Yatra route circling the Indian subcontinent

Jagriti Yatra is an annual train journey that takes young Indians and a few young people from outside India on a national odyssey to inspire and educate.

“I studied law at the Donetsk National University,” the budding Ukrainian expert in international relations further reveals her path of self-discovery. “I also participated in several projects in Ukraine last summer. One of them was a project Mirror of History. It was held in Chernivtsi/Чернівці, a youth exchange camp of sorts in which we worked with representatives of various national minorities living in Ukraine.”

Last day in Mumbai. Young Ukrainian expert in international relations Olga Usachova (first from left) with Jagriti Yatra friends

I was the first Ukrainian to take part in Jagriti Yatra. So for me it was a double honor. Many people think that traveling with 450 people by train for 15 days is just madness. To me, it was not. This program allows you not only to get the experience of intercultural communication but also to develop your ideas in the field of social entrepreneurship through role models and discussions with professionals and passionate colleagues. Jagriti Yatra provides the most important thing for a future entrepreneur which is the motivation to develop your businesses for solving social problems. After participation in Jagriti Yatra the words of Mahatma Gandhi ‘Be the change that you wish to see in the world’ become a guide to action.

She says she would like to return to India to work in the field of social entrepreneurship, but is also considering development of social entrepreneurship in Africa. And for now, Olga is engaged in the implementation of social projects in Ukraine, including a free English club for adults in her home city of  Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine.

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Ukrainian Olga Usachova (first from left) with friends in Hubli, an important city for the Indian Railways, being the headquarters for South Western Railway Zone

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