Travel for Fun? No. ‘Let’s Travel for a Cause’ – Arjun Vajpai, Celebrated Mountaineer & Entrepreneur
Its cofounder is the third youngest Indian to climb Mt. Everest. This travel/crowdfunding platform will show you the world then show you how to give back (to the world).
Photo Credit : video still from Let's Travel for a Cause, Facebook/Arjun Vajpai, letstravelforacause.com,
Going to Goa for the college bash – great. But what comes after that? ‘Shouldn’t there be more to life?” asks that dissatisfied voice inside your head.
'Let's Travel for a Cause'
It’s a startup that is a travel agent, a tour guide company and a crowdfunding platform, all in one. By inspiring a charitable set of ‘travel entrepreneurs’ across India, the three founders, Abhishek Joshi (the Learning and Development Professional/Gallup Certified Strengths Coach), Arjun Vajpai (The Mountaineer/third youngest Indian to climb Mount Everest), and Anoop Dixit (The Digital Marketer) have found a way for all of us to reach out to people who need our help the most.
Arjun: “The idea behind this whole thing is basically to bring about a change in the young travellers of India, to make people start looking at travelling for a very different reason, besides leisure. We certainly have a very different perspective behind this initiative of ours.
Let’s Travel for a Cause solves two problems. Here’s Abhishek explaining them.
Abhishek: “If you look at India as a country, around 70 percent of the population lives in the rural area. Lots of these youngsters who come from unexplored beautiful Indian villages migrate to nearby towns in search of jobs, leaving their homes and families behind for financial stability.
The other side is how travel space has changed in India. If you look at someone who has lived in Delhi for 5 years has probably been to Nainital, Mussoorie, Shimla, and must have enjoyed these packages any number of times.
The cofounders first explain the second problem they aim to solve.
Abhishek: "Now such travellers want to go and do something meaningful. They want to explore the outside, the outdoors. They want to travel, but they want to travel for a cause. They are looking for a meaningful travel experience.”
Arjun agrees that travellers today are looking for meaning even in their leisurely trips. Partying up at the beach just isn’t satisfying anymore.
Arjun: “Even I as an outdoor enthusiast, across all my expeditions all over India, have came across a lot of people who just didn’t want to go out there and travel or just explore new places, they want to contribute, they want to give back to that place because they like that place.”
Anoop: “We also believe that when you support charity, it’s not only about money. You are sharing your knowledge, your insights. Going down to villages and helping them out is also a way people can contribute to society. You want to open up an area where people can come to, either go out there and support them. Not money, but spend time there. And this is where we have come up with a platform called, ‘Let’s Travel for a Cause’.”
Some of the community funding projects running on Let’s Travel for a Cause are those for rural, beautiful places like Champawat helping a football prodigy, building a school and for installing pipelines.
Anoop: “Say as a traveller I have been to a particular place, and I have identified a particular problem that I’m really passionate about solving. But at the same time the cost of solving that problem is humongous.
So this is when they can come back to our portal. We have a crowdfunding platform, where they can raise that issue and circulate that among their peers, friends and family and social media to generate funding. Then they have the option of either giving the fund to an NGO who is working on the ground or go back there and do the project on their own.
Then that entire identification of the problem is covered now. Identification of the problem to generating fund, closing of the issue and making sure the benefit goes to the people.”
Abhishek: “Our customer are our brand ambassadors. When our customers have identified and are solving a problem, not only are they happy but they will also inspire others. So one customer can inspire 20 other customers to go out and do something meaningful.
So imagine if this becomes a movement. How beautiful it will be for the entire country.”
And Let’s Travel for a Cause will create jobs in travel entrepreneurship.
Arjun: “As a climber when I travelled across India, I made so many friends who still face a very big challenge here in India. Up in those villages they really don’t have a permanent job which they can look forward to everyday. They don’t know how to generate a source of income from the tourist coming into their villages.
So looking at these small settlements we were wondering how it is that we can help them, what can we do. And I think that is where our USP, the travel entrepreneur program comes into play.”
Anoop: “Travel entrepreneurship is open to anyone. A youth, a NGO, a local travel agent, anyone who is ready to help with a guided tour who can manage the travellers and itinerary to make sure the entire purpose is managed well.
This is a win-win situation for all. The travel guides have a platform where they can get their travellers, and in the process can make a decent living for themselves, while the travellers get to explore and change the world at the same time.”
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