Sunday, December 25, 2011

Vipassana: Look within : ) {May all be Happy }

Its of the toughest time I ever had but at the same time its a great learning experience.

Getting up at 4:00am in the morning, no meal after 12pm (just tea and two bananas in the evening), meditating for 12 hours a day and to practice silence(maun) for 10 days . All this seems tough but getting up at 4am, practicing silence and hunger wasn't an issue at all. The difficult part was mediation where I failed miserably, it was really hard for me to focus for 1hr in these 12 hours everyday. My mind was so unstable, it used to think so much, making future plans, thinking on topics that have bothered me since long.

I used to enter the Dhamma Hall(meditation hall, where everyone used to sit together to meditate) with complete focus that today I will surely meditate. First 5-10 min. used to go well and then again, the planning used to start. It was a good reality check for me, I don't know whether to take this in a negative way. But as the teaching of Vipassana says take it as it is, nothing is permanent, "This too shall pass". Every minute when the music was off, my mind was full on and when music(direction by the Acharya ji) were on I had a great focus. After 4th day there was a rule to sit for 3 hours(in three shifts of one hour each) in a position where you can't move your hands, leg and sit like an idol with eyes closed...ohh this was tough. One hour was like so hard, it seemed a day, I hardly managed to do it twice out of 18 opportunities ; )

All this apart I had planned a lot during these 10 days, streamlined all my messed up ideas, now I have concrete goals to work on, no more deviation, time to deliver. These 10 days have really helped me a lot to know more about myself, to streamline and prioritize the things I need to do, to make some tough decisions and the best part was the scenic beauty(no other beauty to look for :) ), I have never lived in such a beautiful place before. This course has strengthened my belief in "Dharma" and Gandhiji's and Buddha's saying "Truth is God".

On the way back to Delhi, I witnessed beautiful snow capped mountains, it looks just incredible, I have never seen such beautiful mountains before. But I dont know whether my grand children would be able to see this !!!
As from the plane...they just look magical !!!
                                                                             "Bhavatu Sabb Mangalam"

- With Love

"Service before Self"
Prakhar Bhartiya

Freezing Kathmandu !!

As I got down from bus, thoughts were that there would be some checking and all but nothing was there. I just walked through the border and reached Nepal. On the other side I went to the bus ticket counter to take the ticket for Kathmandu, I gave him 1000Rs. and he returned me 1150Rs.(ticket was of 300Rs(NC)), I thought he did some mistake but then realized that INC is around 1.6times NC. Was happy to have more money : )

The bus stopped twice on the way for tea break, it was chilling cold. We reached Kathmandu at around 7am and it was freezing there, had a coffee and then took a taxi to Vipassana City Centre office at Kanthipasth road.

Journey from City Office to Vipassana Centre: 

I am just loving the journey from the city centre to the main Vipassana centre situated at the foothills of Shivpuri National Park. I don't know about the experience but one thing that I surely know is that I will love this place, actually I am loving it. Kathmandu has a chilling weather but hot and decent girls.

We are sitting in a small van with around 20 students, 16 facing one side and four towards other 16. I am in the four and as I look towards their face I feel as if Vipassana has started, none of them have any expression on their face. Everyone is so quite like something has happened to them.

So, we are at our destination and this place is really very beautiful, its so green and the Kanthmandu valley looks amazing from here.

Time to get down : )

- With Love

"Service before Self"
Prakhar Bhartiya

My First ever foreign trip : )

I have been talking to my friends about my first ever foreign trip. They also laughed, when I say "foreign trip". So, finally the day came !!!

My train is from Delhi. Oh! I forgot to tell you where I am going, I am going to Kathmandu, Nepal. I am not very excited about going to Nepal but I am quite excited about my purpose of going there. I am going for a ten day meditation course, famously known as Vipassana. As per the schedule send by them, I had to get up at 4:00am and sleep by 9:30 pm and more importantly no diner only breakfast and lunch would be served. These things were enough to make a hogger(: )) bit nervous. I have heard that it would be freezing cold in Kathmandu, my father has called me several times to remind me of keeping warm clothes. I was finally set with my bag of woolen clothes and my most trustworthy "Lalimli" shawl(it has been in my rescue several times).
I was telling you that my train is from Delhi.

Journey Begins:

As usual after doing all the preparations beforehand, I managed to leave home just on time, then come the Delhi traffic which is always there to haunt you. My train to Gorakhpur was at 8:25pm but I managed to reach station 20 min. earlier. So, thought to have my dinner, went to the Jan Ahaar at platform no 16, ordered to give a packed Veg-Biriyani, he took 5Rs. extra to pack it. As I took it in hand a thought peeped in mind that I have nearly 18 min in hand, did some calculations in mind and started eating there only. Now 10 min left to reach platform no 7, rushed through the ever increasing population of our country and reached the platform.

There was constant announcement since last 10 min that Gorakhdham is arriving on platform no 7 and it went on for 20 more min after I reached the platform.

Isse acha to khana araam se khaya hota... ; )

Finally train came and guess what it reached Gorakhpur nearly 5 hours late. Then I took a bus from there to Sanauli border !!!

Yippee !!! About to step in a foreign nation: )

- With Love

"Service before Self"
Prakhar Bhartiya

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Connecting The Dots: The Role Of Youth In India’s Progress

When we talk about “Nation Building” on the basis of policies, politics and (old) people; we miss a very important critical role which has to be played by the youth. But thanks to the changing scenario of our country – people have started realizing that the youth are not useless, but are just used-less.
I am a firm believer of the youth power and feel that if it gets connected to the society, a lot can be changed. But this connection has to be a deep rooted one, it can’t be a superficial effort to bring in bigger changes; it has to be at an emotional level. During my graduation days, I was trying to grab opportunities to work for various social causes and also connect my friends to them. What I realised at that time was that there were many people who wanted to work for a good cause but the problem was finding the right opportunity.
I was fortunate enough to get a few opportunities during college days and then, Teach For India happened. Teach For India gave me a chance to work at the ground level and understand the problems pertaining to the people belonging to the bottom of the pyramid. I joined Teach For India because I wanted to understand the need of “Bharat- The Real India”. I wanted to connect to these people, be with them, be a part of their lives and eventually find a way to connect youth and make it the solution of ever growing problems of this nation. Teach For India is the place where I met like-minded, committed and passionate people who were ready to come out of their comfort zones to make a difference. These young people made me realise that we all have the capacity to challenge the challenges of the world; they gave me hope and empowered my belief in the power of youth.
My classroom and community gave me the opportunity to learn more about the basic issues that are ignored not only by our government but also by the so-called civil society. Every day was a new lesson for me. The under resourced classroom taught me to be resourceful, 52 kids in the first year and 38 in the second year taught me perseverance, patience and sense of possibility. It actually made be believe that yes, “I Can” and “I Will”. The love showered by the students and community gave me the strength to work harder even in the gravest situations. Being a teacher is a phenomenal experience and one of the toughest ones.
Working in a government school for two years has immensely helped me understand how the government system is made dysfunctional. Education, which is one of the most important tools of our nation’s progress, is given least importance in a school. Today, I can say that in most of the government schools where focus should ideally be on its students, it is in fact on completing attendance registers and admin work. The system is made in such a way that the officials give least importance to studies; the teachers are engaged in so many other things that they hardly have any teaching time.
As an example, this year in the month of February and March, teachers were pulled out of classrooms to conduct population surveys. Classrooms were without teachers for more than a month and nobody cared. Why were only school teachers selected? Why were bank employees not selected or new people hired for this project? The answer is that the profit and loss of banks is easy to assess and is tangible. Our education system is made in such a way that there is no accountability check at any level. The first check, in case of the schooling system in India, is at Grade 10. Till then, a student has been under at least ten different teachers who can’t be held accountable in case of failure. Banks and PSUs are also government departments but they are profitable because they regularly check their profit-loss statement.
The big question is – why is education, especially primary education, ignored in our country? For a kid – the first profession that s/he witnesses is teaching, then why don’t we make our primary teachers the real role models?
Here is where I feel the role of Teach For India alumni strengthens; the journey actually starts after the two years of Fellowship. The two years of Fellowship, for me, are the learning period that equip one with tools to come out and be the change. To sum it up in a line,“Empower yourself to a position from where you can bring in the desired change.” I strongly feel positive about the potential of youth and hence, I am currently working to connect the youth to a cause under the flagship of Youth Alliance. Youth Alliance is an organization that I started during college and now it serves as a platform for youth to work for different causes.
Teach For India has taught me to question my actions before pointing out to other’s follies. Hence, at the end what matters is, “What will I do about it?”
-With Love
“Service before Self”
PrakharBhartiya is currently working on connecting youth to social causes through Youth Alliance and on NGO Reach Program with NIIT Foundation. He taught for 2-years, full-time at a Municipal School in Mumbai as a part of Teach For India’s first cohort of Fellows (2009-2011).

I wrote this article for "Youth Ki Awaaz" and it was published a month back !!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Youth Alliance:"Featured as Inspiring Story by Microsoft India"

The ‘youth’ of a country is the faction that is a time-honoured scapegoat and never fails to be a source of disapproval to someone at some point. They don’t have focus; they don’t wear too much, they smoke too much, they don’t do too much, they don’t participate politically, they ‘participate’ way too much socially – the list is endless! Even in calmer times, there’s a sword of Damocles hanging over them as a reminder that a slump in positive feedback isn’t too far behind.

The Youth Alliance, initiated by Prakhar, should keep that slump well at bay! Youth Alliance was visualised as a website that would serve as a comprehensive database of the social sector and that’s what it has turned into. Its mission statement – ‘Connect Each Youth With a Cause’ is completely understandable in a world where people are often blindsided by the amount of information there is out there and by the prospect of having to spend time going through it. 

A highly motivated person, Prakhar who is a consultant with NIIT, spends a majority of his spare time on the Youth Alliance and the load of work that accompanies it, though he informs us that he should begin working on the endeavour full-time in a short while. The organisation has as strong an offline presence with projects being undertaken (such as volunteers heading into a village near Kanpur to replace all bulbs with CFLs) that would put high-level NGOs to shame. 

“I have volunteered with Janaagraha when I was in my second year of engineering in college and later even became a fellow with Teach for India. Post attaining my fellowship, I went on the Jaagriti Yatra (an 18-day train journey that takes hundreds of India's highly motivated youth on a national odyssey to awaken the spirit of entrepreneurship). Through my experiences, I found that even though I wanted to help, there wasn’t a cohesive platform to go to. I wanted to create such a platform,” says the activist earnestly. 

What has the response been like, we ask? “(The response)...hasn’t been very high but it’s all relative. We had a seminar for Mass Communication and MBA students recently and about 150 people turned up. They were quite interested and asked a lot of questions,” says Prakhar. 

If you ask who’s behind the Youth Alliance, Prakhar eagerly tells us that Youth Alliance is a family of 7 to 8 core members with 55 volunteers in Delhi alone. They have a host of volunteers in Kanpur and Lucknow and are looking to expand to the south of the country, if possible. 

Endeavours like the Youth Alliance should be supported fully since the goal that they’re furthering is too important to be allowed an indecent burial under the aegis of being ‘a lost cause’ or even worse - ‘unattainable’. 

Contact details

Official Website

Mail :


Divya - 09868638883

Vibhuti: 09582870628 

Prakhar: 07838540546

Note: We were featured by Microsoft India as an inspiring story on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti. Thanks to all our supporters.
Original Link:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Youth Alliance: For the cause of India

Prakhar Bhartiya
Prakhar Bhartiya
Youngsters are always standing at the crossroads of life, constantly taking decisions and shaping their careers. It is very rare for modern day youth to think beyond the nitty-gritties of their own lives and take up the service of their nation as their primary goal and endeavour. And hence, when I met Prakhar Bhartiya, who seemed like any other youngster at first, I was surprised to see the kind of initiatives he was leading – all in the interest of our great polity. On our sixty fourth independence anniversary, I can’t help but take note of this young man – a consultant by profession – who has been the inspiration and fountainhead of a youth organisation called Youth Alliance.
The aim of his organisation is to connect youth with a cause. It acts like an information portal for youngsters to work in the social sector, keep them updated about issues of national importance and help them become the future torchbearers of our nation. Recently, in order to support social activist Anna Hazare in his campaign against prevailing corruption in the country, Youth Alliance led motorcycle processions at Shaheed Stambh in Motijheel, Kanpur. The procession was flagged off by freedom fighter Manwati Arya.
Apart from their ongoing offline drives, the Youth Alliance group is highly active on Facebook and can be seen posting updates several times every day. It is an encouraging platform for youngsters who want to make their voice heard.
Every now and then, when I get updates from this Facebook group, it serves as a constant reminder of the need to reclaim India’s lost glory, and not let greed and corruption overpower our patriotic fervour. In many silent ways, Prakhar has been able to connect to millions of youth across India. He has also previously worked as a Teach for India Fellow in Pune, apart from being involved with the Jaago Re! movement.
Anti-corruption rally organized by Youth Alliance
Anti-corruption rally organized by Youth Alliance
Recently, as part of Youth Alliance, he has also started an initiative called Samarpan under which youth can volunteer with an NGO and try to be a solution to India’s ever growing problems.
“Youth Alliance has come up with this initiative (Samarpan) with a dual objective of providing human resources (volunteers at the beginning stage) to NGOs and at the same time raising the emotional quotient of the youth who are still under the shackles of ignorance which eventually will enable them to be a change maker in the long run. The idea behind the initiative is to make each youth contribute to the social development of the country. As it has been seen that today’s youth is aware and has a will to give back to society in a corner of their heart. BUT there is a section of youth who is still unaware of the gravity of all social issues from poverty to illiteracy to corruption and some who are aware do not get the right platform to contribute to nation building. We believe that the ground level exposure at an NGO will help them in understanding the magnitude of the social issues/concerns our country is facing today and thus will in due course make them realize the need of the hour,” says Prakhar.
Youth Alliance believes that by coming in contact with the under-served people and by being there in the moments of pain or joy, we can look forward to augment their lifestyles. This initiative provides the young people of our country with the opportunities to have their careers inclined past the welfare of the society and to have a look towards their life in a much more sensible way. Once they are out of their college, it provides them with the responsibility of being ‘Agents of Change’. As these volunteers have been a part of the community, they can empathize with them and help them in a significant way.
In its own big and small ways, Youth Alliance is playing a pivotal role in bridging the gap between the needs of our nation and the capabilities of the youth. So if you are a young Indian, looking to make a difference, you know where to start now.
Click like on this link if you liked it:
This was published by "The Better India"  on the eve of Independence Day.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Don't Act Pricey ; ))

Dear Friends,

Its been very long since I have shared something with you. Life after TFI has been very hectic, the days are passing like hours. Family and friends are being annoyed and they say that since you have come to Delhi you are being very busy or acting pricey ; )

What should I say.....don't have any words. I was always in love with her but never thought that it would also love me so much. Now we are mutual lovers, me and my sweet Delhi. My lover has embraced me so well that I don't get time for anything else. With so many plans in mind I came to Delhi on 6th of May this year. Joined my new job at NIIT Foundation and started working on the next project of Youth Alliance.

Just to remind you all Youth Alliance is something that was started during my college days. It has been desperate to move ahead but the two wonderful years at TFI gave it the time to mature and do something significant. Two months in Delhi and it launched its new initiative,"Samarpan" and a brand new website. Friends now you could have guessed where my time was going, why was I (rather am) so busy with my work. The idea behind Youth Alliance is to connect youth with a cause and Samarpan has already started doing it. Thinking what is Youth Alliance, what is Samarpan all about, today I will not tell you this, go visit the website find it out, there is a lot more for you(th) to explore there. (

At present I don't have any personal life, I take the work of YA as my personal work but all this apart the life has to move on, learning and unlearning have to continue. I thought who else knows me better than you, so thought to share it with you. In this fast track life between NIIT Foundation and Youth Alliance, I am preparing to plan it in a better way.

Here is my daily routine that I will follow from now (unless in case of a meeting or any emergency). You have to keep a check on it, whether I am following it or not because you want me to grow, you want me to prosper so this is important for me as well as you.

‎7:00 - exercise, newspaper
---- OFFICE----
6:30-7:30       - internet, email
7:30-8:00       - practice silence
8:00-9:30       - food, phone, entert.
9:30- 10:00    - internet
10:00-11:00   - YA/ study for GRE
11:00- 11:45  - Read
11:45 - GN     - internet,calls,
 write diary etc.

If you want to suggest something and improve do comment or contact me, would love to do so.

- Prakhar

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Youth Alliance: Connecting Youth With A Cause

I would like to share with you about  “Youth Alliance”  (Click like on Fan Page and do promote us, we need your support) with a mission to “Connect each Youth with a Cause”. The idea of one of its initiative, “Samarpan” came to my mind nearly one year back. Being a Teach For India fellow I got a chance to be with the community,see, feel and be a part of their lives. Two years in classroom and community gave me a very clear picture of what is the basic need at ground level. At that time I thought to start a program that can connect youth and cause together and eventually raise their emotional quotient for the society because one can’t know the real picture till when he/she has been there on ground to feel it. Books and movies gives the perception of the author and direction of the director. If one wants to know the real picture he/she has to be on ground with the people and be a part of their lives.
What we are trying to do ?   (About Samarpan)
Youth Alliance has come up with this initiative with a dual objective of providing human resources (volunteers at the beginning stage) to NGOs and at the same time raising the emotional quotient of the youth who are still under the shackles of ignorance which eventually will enable them to be a change maker in the long run. The idea behind the initiative is to make each youth contribute to the social development of the country. As it has been seen that today’s youth is aware and has a will to give back to society in a corner of their heart… BUT there is a section of youth who is still unaware of the gravity of all social issues from poverty to illiteracy to Corruption and some who are aware do not get the right platform to contribute to the Nation Building… We believe that the ground level exposure at an NGO will help them in understanding the magnitude of the social issues/ concerns our country is facing today and thus will in due course make them realize the need of the hour.
Philosophy of Change:
We believe that by coming in contact with the under-served people and by being there in the moments of pain or joy, we can look forward to augment their lifestyles. This initiative provides the young people of our country with the opportunities to have their careers inclined past the welfare of the society and to have a look towards their life in a much more sensible way. Once they are out of their college, it provides them with the responsibility of being ‘Agents of Change’. As these volunteers have been a part of the community, they can empathize with them and help them in a significant way.
What else we are trying to do ?
Apart from this we are trying to setup a web-portal that will help youth to find their best fit in social sector, from education to employment:
  1. Fellowship (Collecting Information about all the credible fellowship models for youth )
  2. Youth Connect( Space where youth can find different NGOs working with youth across India)
  3. Budding Entrepreneurs (A section where in youth can share the crux of his business model and get feedback from different personalities who have a good exp. in social sector; also find mentor for himself, for this we are in talks with different social leaders and are asking them to adopt young entrepreneurs and nurture them to be the best)
  4. I Change (A section wherein youth can read about different rights which we have as the citizen of India and information about various govt. department; RTI, RTE, CVC, Passport Authority etc. )
  5. Careers  (This section would show different opportunity available in social sector)
  6. Social Consultancy
Now feel free to shoot questions, critically and constructively analyze the whole model and surely HELP   us grow!!!
No copyright anyone is free to copy the whole model !!!
And please, please ….click like on our Fan Page (, participate in discussion….share on your page and profile….promote us !!!
Together we CAN and WE Will !!!
- “Service before Self”
Prakhar Bhartiya

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Testimony From a Brother

My elder brother mailed me these lovely lines on 15-December 2010. It was a lovely day.

खुशियों की सौगात हो तुम
सबसे अलग कुछ खास हो तुम
इसीलिए एक पावन एहसास हो तुम
जिनसे बहुत दूर उनके भी पास हो तुम
मेरी सोच का अंदाज हो तुम
हर बड़े सच का आधार हो तुम

And these are the lines from the days of orkut, when people used to write testimonials. He wrote these for me in 2008. I just love these lines and read them when ever I feel some low point in my life !!!
Everytime I read the below testimony, I cant stop being emotional....Bhaiya u rock and really make me feel special !!!

mera bhai... bole to ummeedon ka samandar...
aur haan isne ummeedon se mujhe jodne aur unhen poora karne mein koi kasar bhi nahin chhori hai....
woh smart bhi hai, inteligent bhi hai aur.... sweet-sweet to hai hi....
ho bhi kyun na akhir mera chhutka jo hai.....

love u beta.....
bahut aage jao.....
itna aage ki swabhimaan ke saath meri pehchaan bano....

main jaanta hoon....
hoga bhi aisa hi......
akhir woh PRAKHAR jo hai "

These are one of the most lovely lines ever said to me.Thank you Bhaiya (Sanjiv) for making me what I am and believing in what I have been trying to do. You have been inspirational for me, a mentor, a guide and a really cool friend.
Thanks for being with me in every walk of my life.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


According to Wikipedia, Peace describes a society or a relationship that is operating harmoniously and without violent conflict. But I don’t think that the end of violence means peace. Peace has a much larger meaning. It has many aspects; it can be mental peace, physical peace, peace of living in safe environment.
When I think about peace the first thing that comes to my mind is mental peace. For me this is really important. It is one the hardest thing to get. One can be in the safest place, have all the luxuries of life but still not live in peace. For example: For a daily wage earner who doesn’t know about his meal next day, mental peace is nearly impossible if doesn’t get work. So, mental peace comes from security for future which includes a lot more than just financial safety.
I think the meaning of peace, varies in different strata’s of society. For middle class peace is when they are assured that their old age is financially secured but this is not the same for upper class. If we observe a changing scenario, then we notice that the upper class of people are transitioning towards spirituality to attain peace because they have can fulfill all their financial needs and hence want to gain mental peace.
I believe that relation between desire and peace is inversely proportional. As our greed increases, we start losing our peace and start to grumble for small-small things. I know it is hard to control the desires but still if we benchmark our needs it becomes a lot simpler. We should define our needs and try to limit them and once that is done, life becomes easy. We feel the fun in life and start enjoying it and which eventually gives us immense pleasure and peace.
The environment in which we live also contributes to our peace. Physical safety is man’s first priority and the place where we live contributes a lot to it. If we have fear for our lives, it becomes very hard to live in peace. Take examples from our countries only; can we live peacefully in Taliban affected Afghanistan or SWAT valley of Pakistan or Kashmir valley in India or Naxalite hit red corridor in India or flood affected region of Bangladesh ? The answer is “NO” because our first priority will be to save ourselves and our loved ones life.  The living environment can be affected by terrorism or by flood or by criminal activities but if our lives are unsafe it is hard to live in peace.

Lastly I would say being a follower of Gandhian philosophy I believe in non-violence, truthfulness and simplicity. So, if we have these attributes in us, we can easily live a peaceful life.

* This is the answer to the question (What is Peace ?)asked to me while I was applying for South Asian Youth Conference, which took place last month in IIM, Bangalore and I was selected for the conference.

Friday, June 10, 2011


“Hello”, “Good morning......!” 

Every morning when she gets up, she calls me and that is the best moment of my day. Her sleepy voice makes me feel as if she is standing next to me; the time comes to a standstill and all my desires get fulfilled.  There is a big smile on my face and I don’t want to hang-up, it’s all so romantic. 

It’s been so many years with her; we know each other so well. I know she loves me like anything and the same is for me. She knows everything about me, my habits; what faces I make at what instances; what I like to eat, drink etc. and even what I do when I get up in morning or before sleeping. She understands me truly and respects my emotions.

Today we are meeting after a very long time. She would greet me with a very big shy smile on her face. And we would forget everything around; we would get a chance to be real and being understood. As the time ticks in the clock my heartbeats are going up and down like desperate sea waves, the desperation to see the beloved is evident. And here comes my sweet angel for whom I have been waiting for so long to complete my barren life. For some time we remained quite but still said everything to each other. Her hands are clasped to mine as if she is afraid of losing me. As we walk down the road we share our time that we had spent without each other. She is the best gift I have ever got, the best thing that has happened to me. Its like made for each other and we know that we are the best couple ever. After a long chat I started feeling as if she was always there with me, in me, we were never away. Over the conversation she asked me what next and I was quite, dumb......

Buzzz...... Oh !!! Its 8:00 O’clock time for office. Sometimes we wish that the dream should come true because I can still feel her fragrance in air.