On October 2, 2016, Pankaj bought a bicycle with the help of his brothers and friends. On a limited budget for food and no budget for accommodation, he started his journey across the country with the belief that his willpower would see him through: I stayed in temples and Gurudwaras and even few people took me to their homes. But I have also spent nights under trees, at tea stalls, and at under construction buildings. Pankaj began this journey of spreading awareness on October 6, 2016 from Kargil and completed it on December 5, 2016 by reaching Kanyakumari. “My family members weren’t supportive enough in the beginning, and everyone discouraged me, except my mother and my students. Bringing about a change is a difficult task,” he says. Astittva aims to instill change in the minds of people and fund raise for the causes by spreading awareness. It wants to motivate people towards building a society which is considerate of girls and women, a society which understands the need for health, hygiene, and organ donation. The organisation is working in the areas of entrepreneurship, education, empowerment, employ-ability, environment, and health. Travel is the best way to understand the socio-economic situation of people. It helps you to connect with them. Cycling is economical, eco-friendly, and a better way to travel. I started my journey after delivering a session on motivation and career guidance in Kargil, says Pankaj. During this journey, Pankaj conducted numerous cleaning drives as a part of the Swachh Bharat campaign, along with awareness campaigns and talks on the importance of girl child education. He also helped build 17 toilets in the rural parts of the country by raising funds through crowdfunding. Pankaj feels he has achieved a sense of accountability towards people and the nation through this journey. He gave up his foodtech business and has taken up the mission to transform lives and the ecosystem.

Be The Change You Want To See in the World-Mahatma Gandhi