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Posted at: Jun 15, 2019, 7:25 AM; last updated: Jun 15, 2019, 7:25 AM (IST)

Students backpack across country

PEC Voyager programme to help them gain perspective on national issues
Students backpack across country
PEC students on an excursion to Rajasthan. Tribune photo

Naina Mishra
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 14

Spotted wandering with backpacks in unexplored cities of the country are students of Punjab Engineering College (PEC), who have set their foot out to explore diverse corners of the country with minimal requirements.

Under a project, Voyager, which is the brainchild of PEC Director Dheeraj Sanghi, 18 BTech students (first and second year) from the college are experiencing varying living conditions, cultures, values, traditions, beliefs, climate and geographical conditions.

From sleeping on railway station platforms to overcoming language barriers in the southern India, these students are exploring the unknown territories in six teams.

The teams, with three students each, have been asked to cover at least six states (other than Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir) of the country over a period of 40 days.

The students have been given a budget of Rs 1,000 per head per day. They are travelling via sleeper class trains (non-AC) or state government buses and staying in budget accommodation.

Each group has a different name and their activities are being posted on the social media regularly. Students have to send pictures to the faculty from time to time and give updates about their well being.

Surviving high temperature

The members of the ‘Anvekshan’ group, who are staying at non-AC rooms of the Indian Railways, fell ill on their journey from Bangaluru to Jaipur, but resumed the voyage soon. They experienced temperature in train up to 50 degree Celsius.

Group member Mudit Aggarwal says the main problem is the delay of trains. “We explored the possibility of organic farming and problems being faced by the farmers trying to implement it. Poverty is a major concern across the country,” he said.

Exploring marvels

The ‘Dhai Kadam’ group had travelled from Ladakh to Jaisalmer and then reached Bhuj to marvel at the local handicraft. Pashul Monga, another student, said: “We are learning every day. The handloom industry lacks pace as compared to the power loom industry. Language barriers exist in south India. Betting in Kolkata fish market for truck loading is huge.”

The programme

  • Teaches students the importance of experience over materialistic things. 
  • It introduces them to circumstances where they enter into dialogue with people from different walks of life. 
  • The fellows enter unknown territories and explore them with a specified per-day budget.


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