Pratul is an adventurer, an experimentalist and a humanitarian, passionate about learning and making a difference in the world. He is deeply motivated by sustainability and activism; which he owes to his years on the road.
Pratul has been on the road from 2011, connecting with cultures, meeting inspiring people, learning and sharing. He started the initiative Backpack With Prat, driven by the keen desire to share his learning from being an explorer and adventurer, with the rest of the world. A storyteller by nature, Pratul’s love for working with grassroot-level communities and villages, and interacting to youth, has taken him to over 100 countries around the world.
Like many, Pratul had a ‘stable’ life. Hailing from central India, his creative sense and keen desire to experience a lot more than his town could offer, led him to discover places right from a young age. Enamoured by the creative abilities that it offered, he studied to be a Fashion Designer in Delhi and then in US. He successfully ran his own label for years, enjoying the the fancy parties, fashion shows, and all the vices. But being curious by nature, he believed that there ought to be more to life than just making money, a high social status, and a well paying career. He happened to travel some communities like Dhobhi Ghat in Mumbai, inaccessible villages, and met some interesting people as a part of his ‘work’. Witnessing their life and the disconnect of his life from reality, further made him think about the life he was leading. He realised that the life he was leading was “like looking at the world through coloured glasses, and that too with blinders.” The world was beckoning him. He wanted the adrenaline rush, adventure and curiosity. On Feb 10, 2011, he wrapped up everything he owned, sold his label and bid farewell to his fancy life. He packed all his ‘belongings’ down to a rucksack, and left that life…. Yep, just like that!
Lot of people have an epiphany, or a loud voice that pushes them to just do something different, explore more, be more creative, learn more, laugh more, live more. But what’s missing is – taking the leap…
The journey that began then is far from over… He had decided that money will never be central to his life and started living under $3 a day as a experiment. He travelled extensively through hitch-hiking or absolute basic public transport and stayed with locals. Through such a life, he had the chance to meet inspiring people, live in ashrams, participate in festivals around the world, volunteer with NGOs and various communities, farm and build sustainable homes, learn film making and adventure courses, hike numerous peaks, learn to make bamboo houses, make instruments… Be it working in Cambodia as a mahout, watch the northern lights in Norway, teaching children in the villages of Philippines, deep sea diving in Australia, walking the El Camino De Santiago across Spain, tugging at Santa Claus’ beard in Finland, or summiting Annapurna II – he gathered as many experiences that he could… His mantra – ‘live a local, basic and sustainable life, and remember to give back.’
All experiences I have had, with innumerable people and in uncountable places, make me who I am each day! The world has taught me that love and help is always present. It’s we, who have to start doing our bit.
Pratul has always clarified that all his milestones are purely initiatives. The Experimentalist that he is, he is always open to and trying new ideas.
– In 2013, Pratul started the ‘Backpack With Prat events’ to give people the opportunity to give them a glimpse of how it feels to experience the world with bare essentials and connect with local culture.
– In 2015, he started the ‘Connect The Dots’ initiative to connect all the knowledgeable people he had met along the way, with the people who needed the knowledge in far-flung rural communities and villages.
– In 2016, he began conducting ‘Moving Young Minds Workshops’ to share with youth the opportunities in the world and the need to give back to the world we live in. To make it more youth-centric, and give them the chance to personally meet unsung heroes, he started the ‘The Fourth Language Festival’ project.
He has now reached the “next phase of his life” with the ‘Place Of Possibilities’ or ‘POP’ – his dream project – a place where like-minded people, passionate about sustainable and holistic living can stay/live together, experiment with lifestyle ideas, and share their learnings with the community. Read more about POP