Dr Ashwani Kumar Parashar is a final year MBBS student from Dhaulpur, pursuing his graduation from SMS Medical College, Jaipur. He is unlike any medical student you have ever met though. 

Meet Ashwani Parashar, the 22 year old medical student who is doing more than any Indian today to save Rajghat, the village that India forgot.

You see, this 22 year old is doing more than any Indian today to save every human being in Rajghat, the village that India forgot. Over to Ashwani.

Help us understand the Rajghat issue. 

People know of a Rajghat that is in Delhi and a memorial to Late Sh. Mahatma Gandhi, but there is one more in India - a Rajghat, a small village at the banks of Chambal in Dhaulpur, which even 70 years after Independence, is covered in darkness and despair.
This Rajghat is devoid of all basic infrastructure to sustain Life (as per The Fundamental right to Dignified Life Under Article 21) with no connectivity to other districts. 

How bad is it? Can you give us an idea?

The reality of Rajghat is tragic and horrifying. 

  • None of the government's schemes have been implemented.
  • There are no roads, lights or basic medical facilities.
  • Water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink around the banks of the Chambal. The villagers have no alternative but to drink water from the Chambal directly, in which the DEAD BODIES of humans as well as animals can be seen floating. 
  • There are frequent crocodiles attacks on the villagers. 
  • Only 2 males have gotten married in the last 20 years.
  • Some have cellphones, but to get them charged, either they have to head towards the city or they have to buy a battery.

And yes, once the sun sets, Rajghat is lapped in utter darkness.

At the age of 21, you filed a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) on their behalf. What is the present state of the Rajghat case? 

Presently with the help of Judiciary, Executive and local people, the voice of Rajghat is triumphantly rising in the hearts of fellow citizen. Unconditional support has come in the form of financial aid, legal advice, self help groups, NGO's and philanthropists who've extended their kind assistance in not only raising awareness but also aiding the infrastructure.

Recently, High court has issued a notice to The CHIEF SECRETARY of Rajasthan, and has asked to answer within 6 weeks in reference to the PIL that I filed in the high court. We are planning to implant a solar energy based electricity and Solar based water filtration system. Now, people from across the borders are extending their helping hands.

जिस गांव में कभी जानवर भी नहीं जाते थे, उस गांव में आज अधिकारीयों और मंत्रियों की रेलमपेल लगी हुई है।
I hope कि राजघाट में अब सुबह होने वाली है। आजादी के 70 साल बाद आज राजघाट सच में "आजाद" होने वाला है।

(The same village where once even animals never went, today sees a line of bureaucrats and ministers queuing up to help. I hope that at least now, Rajghat will have a morning after this long darkness. After 70 years of freedom for the rest of India, it looks like finally the people of the village too will get their freedom.)

Meet Ashwani Parashar, the 22 year old medical student who is doing more than any Indian today to save Rajghat, the village that India forgot.

What is the most memorable incident that has happened during the period of your mission yet?

One of the most memorable incidents that I recall was when I was sitting with an IAS officer and was discussing the issues of Rajghat. He sarcastically asked me " अश्वनी, सिर्फ राजघाट ही क्यों? ऐसे तो कई गांव हैं। फिर आप सिर्फ राजघाट के लिए ही क्यों परेशान हो?" 

("Ashwani, why are you so bothered only about Rajghat? There are so many such villages?")

To this I replied" सर मैं मानता हूँ कि राजघाट इकलौता नहीं है, ऐसे हजारों राजघाट और होंगे, बेशक होंगे। माना पूरे  देश में ऐसे 1 लाख गांव होंगे। मैं सनकी हूं, इसमें से 1 गांव कम कर जाऊँगा, 99 हजार 999 छोड़ जाऊँगा। कल कोई और सनकी आएगा, वो 1 और कम कर देगा। ये ऐसे ही कम हो सकते हैं। सिर्फ यह सोचकर कि ऐसे तो कई गांव हैं, इन्हें कौन सही करेगा, हम हाथ बांध कर बैठे तो नहीं सकते ना !! किसी ना किसी को तो शुरूआत करनी होगी ना! किसी मसीहा का इंतजार क्यों करूँ? Why not me. चलिए मैं ही शुरू करता हूँ ।"

(To this I replied, "Sir, I agree that there may be thousands of such Rajghats, perhaps lakhs even. Even if I can reduce the number by even 1, then there will only be 99,999 villages to save. Tomorrow, someone else will come to save another. This is the only way we can save them. Simply saying that there are so many villages so why bother, nothing will change. Someone has to make the start. Why should we wait for a messiah? Why not me? So I decided to begin.")
As soon as the words left my mouth, I actually regretted it. I was sure he would throw me out of the room, you see! After all, he - as a bureaucrat himself - was a part of the administration against whom I had raised my voice for Rajghat. But he gave me a strong positive reaction by saying:

"Dr. Ashwani, if you are searching for that one person that will change the life of despair of Rajghat, take a look in the mirror. It's YOU." He also added "The moment you are ready to quit is usually the moment right before miracle. Therefore don't give up ever on any issue. And as far as Rajghat is concerned I will join you in this mission." 

He not only helped me with legal aid but also conveyed the problems and suggestions to the governments of the state as well as union.

It seems amazing that at such a young age, you are doing so much for the people of Rajghat while also balancing the hard stress of being a medical student? I know I could never have done what you are doing back in my days as a student. How do you handle such stress?

My parents have supported me throughout this as have friends. I've managed my time in such a way that I optimally use my spare and recreational time to balance studies as well as my mission to save Rajghat. And yes, when the stress gets too much, I do unwind, travel and enjoy with my friends like any regular college student. I am no different.  

Whenever in doubt and fear as well as surrounded by thoughts to drop out the fight, I just recall GandhiJi's Talisman:

The present day Indian youth is spirited yet frightened of challenges and risks. In this modern scenario when even capitalistic countries are turning towards a Socialistic approach, aren't we neglecting 'Development For All' as directed by our preamble and directive principles?

There's risk in everything. All mothers take the strongest risk, as from embryo till our delivery, every moment is risky. From infectious diseases to abortions due to unfortunate reasons, she risks her life but despite all the pain, she delivers us. If she can take such tough risks, is the job to serve our fellow citizens that risky in comparison? See the masons who works from Dawn to Dusk, breaking the stones to build a bridge, is the duty towards our fellow citizens that risky and hard?

I think that even with the slightest of positive motivation we can direct the energy of masses to Build and Develop The True Independent Socialist, Democratic Republic of Union of India.

How can we, as fellow concerned citizens, help the people of Rajghat? 

  • Please promote #SaveRajghat in whatever possible way you can!
  • Only money is not enough, carry forward the Voice of RAJGHAT so that others can hear of their fellow Indians in need.
  • As a fellow citizen, strive to give your best, in any way possible, like voluntary free education, health care services. 
  • Make people aware of their duties (Article 51-A) first, then their rights (Article 14-30). 

Let us aim to make the village economy self-sustaining to achieve GandhiJi's dream of the true Independent India, where the villages are the Temples of Economy, Polity and Society.

Authors note:
In the recently concluded event held in Jaipur by Changing Tomorrow aimed to inspire young minds, Ashwani and I were two of the guest speakers of the ChaT Youth Summit

Speakers Dr Roshan Radhakrishnan and Dr Ashwani Parashar

His inspiring words resonated with audiences young and old who were in awe of the efforts this young man was taking to improve our country. People like him inspire far more faith in the future of India than most of our political leaders and deserve to have their voices reach a larger audience.
I can do that with this blog. 

Dr Ashwani Parashar's inspiring words resonated with audiences young and old who were in awe of the efforts this young man was taking to improve our country. People like him inspire far more faith in the future India than most of our politicians leaders and deserve to have their voices reach a larger audience.

All year, I have been writing about Real Life Heroes of Kindness and Compassion from around the world who changed lives with their selfless gestures and efforts. 
On September 1, 2017, I met one in real life.

I am taking My Alexa Rank to the next level with #MyFriendAlexa with BlogChatter


keerthi vydyula said…
Incredible effort he is putting in. Well said, only when each of us try to put in our bit the change takes form. He is indeed very inspiring to everyone not alone youth but to everyone. Also a REAL Hero. More power to him!
He is indeed inspiring. Never knew such a village existed in such a bad state. All supports and prayers to him for his cause. We should be the change we wish to see. Rightly said. So proud of him.
tulika singh said…
This is an inspiring story. We need more people like Ashwwani. My mom's ancestral village in UP is a bit like this with no electricity yet, even though it is just a 45 minute drive from Lucknow. There are many parts of our country which have yet to reap the benefits of independent India.
Soumya said…
Oh! I was thinking of the Rajghat in Delhi too and it looked pretty fine when I went there last.

This village breaks my heart. I don't know how the government can turn a blind eye to such situations. This guy is very inspiring and we need more people like him. As a city bred woman, I honestly find it hard to believe that there are people out there who do not even have the basics, such posts are an eye opener for me and many others.
shalz75 said…
Shocking to know our governance is still no poor in the country! What advancements are we talking of if this is still the state in parts of the country. Kudos Doc for highlighting this fight via your blog and its truly inspiring to hear of such a wonderful mission being implemented by someone so young but passionate about it! Wish Dr. Ashwini all the best in this endeavour
Upasna said…
I never knew about this Village.. Made me think how unaware are we. I will share it across as much as possible. Thansk for sharing this Doc
I can see Another Gandhi.. He has stirred up the storms of basic Democratic principles our Makers of Independence and Constitution have strived and sacrificed for..! I convey him my best wishes and extend my moral support.. with regards.. Tapas
nidhi patwardhan said…
kudos dr. Ashwani kumar.
aaj se me Hrithik Roshan k alawa aapki bhi fan ho gyi :)
Ashish sharma said…
Another gandhi in making.
god bless you ashwani.
ayush the blogger said…
oh my god!
I can't believe this.
such village still exists? hats off to you Ashvini sir.
shame on rajasthan government.thank you roshan sir for letting us know about rajghat village.
I agree. It is awesome to see the youth inspire us, especially in these dark times.
So many of us are unaware of this story. That was why I really wanted to do my bit by showcasing it and helping it reach a different, larger audience.
How can we possibly hope to move forward leaving portions of India so far behind as this? I mean, this is not even close to a village... they have abandoned the people for so many decades.
I agree. I don't think I would survive in such a place either.
I agree. It is amazing to see this passion in one so young. And heartening to see the effects too.
True. I agree I too did not know of it. That was why I felt I needed to do more to get the message across to others like me
Touchwood. Heaven knows we need the next generation to do better than our own...
Real life heroes are always better than reel life heroes, as far as I am concerned :)
I agree. Even I was shocked that such a place could exist. Scary to think that there may be more like this.
Rajlakshmi said…
I felt like reading a storyline from a book. Such compassion and dedication for a village that no ones care about. Incredible story and what an amazing person... I wish him well and may the village start prospering too.
anupriya said…
This is an extremely inspiring story. WE often think, "Why should we bother?" and move ahead of problems that occure infront of us everyday. But this young chap has taken up the cause and making waves with it. Kudos. And Thank you for bringing this story to us.
Yes, I know. It seems so surreal. We need more people to stand up and fight for the good of the common man.
Exactly. Our mentality tends to be 'let someone else make the effort.'
Shamik said…
First of all thanks to you for putting up such an inspirational post. Hats off to Dr. Ashwani for his noble effort in bringing the change. Proud to share #SaveRajghat on my social media.
Avinash Gupta said…
Ashwani is true hero- thank you for sharing his story :)
Ashwini is making me realize that each of us should try.Try more .Not less and persist .Inspiring reading Dr.Roshan.
God bless, Dr Ashwani and may his tribe increase. Thank you for sharing his story. How could we help?
Vasantha Vivek said…
A big congrats to Ashwani and to you too. India is in need of more young and vibrant hearts like this. Thanks for sharing this. I will support #SaveRajghat mission. Happy to connect with you for #MyFriendAlexa !!!
Neha Tambe said…
Bravo and support to this young man and his mission! It is important that we come forward and support such causes. #SaveRajghat
zainab said…
Thankyou for sharing :) a real hero for sure!
It's sad that India still has a lot of progress to make.
Paresh Godhwani said…
We need more people like Dr. Ashwani to make our capable of going to the top. Hopefully this post will inspire others to do the same.
Reema D'souza said…
This is really inspiring! Most of us think that we have to many problems of our own to deal with and so why bother about the society. But Dr Ashwani is really an inspiration for everyone!
Deepa said…
Very inspiring. Thanks for bringing such stories forward. It feels really good to know that such people exist who think about others more than themselves.
Brinda Rana said…
Very inspiring and touching.
Aishwari Mehra said…
I guess you are the real hero Roshan. Because you are the one whose searching such talents and forwarding them through your network. I really appreciate your efforts.
Glad to hear that. He needs all the support he can get from us to spread the story and get the required bodies to take action
Thanks.... Yes, he surely is
That's a very valid point... Stop staying on a fixed rung of the ladder and persisting but instead aim for more
For now, share his story. Let people know that such an issue exists so that the powers that be are forced to take action
Thanks Vasantha. Yes, he does need our support and as a blogging community, we can spread the word better I feel
I agree. That was the reason I decided to showcase his efforts
It is scary. I had never heard of such a place or scenario. I can't help but imagine that there are many more like this.
If even one more person is motivated to take up a good cause, I would say we have won
Exactly. For all the hue and cry I make over how I have no time for this or that, it's nothing compared to his amazing efforts
Yes. We need to showcase more such people like this, I feel.
No. I'm just finding and sharing stories. I can never be compared with their light
Mansi Laus Deo said…
This is an incredible story of how our youth is coming forward to help the nation. It's the modern day patriotism and exactly the kind of social entrepreneurship we need right now. Kudos to Ashwini and more power to him!
The Mum Story said…
Doing a great job be making us aware of the condition of the village. Kudos to him and a lot more power
Varsh said…
What a brilliant initiative he undertook with absolutely nothing other than their well-being at heart. A true hero! Hats off to him.
he is an inspiration and a real life hearo ..Salute to him
You stole the words from my mind. This is exactly what the country needs to see right now
It's important when the media is silent that the youth stand up to help those in need.
I agree. That makes it all the more inspiring
Disha said…
At a young age he is filled with so much inspiration & enthusiam to do good. Hope I can also do my tiny bit for India in some or other. Thanks for sharing the post! :)
Such an inspiration. Sharing it to promote his message.
Wow that's so inspiring being a doctor and working at ground level analysing the problems so close and actually doing something for the people that's great and motivating intimate 3cheers for Dr Ashwini
Dipika said…
This young man is a true inspiration, when all are running to bigger towns, cities to earn livelihood on the pretext of better life he is gone to roots of India. Dhaulpur is not very far away from Agra my birthplace and I can understand the problems atrocities mentioned - total apathy of local administration. Hats Off to this young Doctor for all his efforts.
Atulmaharaj said…
Great to see such inspiring people around.
Agnivo said…
India is full of unsung heroes. Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.
Shilpa Garg said…
Wow! Dr Parashar is a real hero! More power to him and may his tribe increase!
Neha Gupta said…
Thanks for sharing this .. I never knew about such a village and its related struggles. Dr Ashwani is a true inspiration, I wish we had more people like him and to be honest I wish we had no villages in this condition

Neha (Sharing our experiences)
Manisha said…
Thanks this story of Dr Ashwani who has done commendable efforts. Really!! This is very inspiring and feels motivating.
This guy is making a huge difference. Ek sanki, ek gaon. The concept will work! Very inspiring.

Plus, this doc is cute too ;)
Mommy T said…
truly inspiring. How amazing that someone is being so selfless and trying to save a village. The lines "Even if I can reduce the number by even 1, then there will only be 99,999 villages to save. Tomorrow, someone else will come to save another. This is the only way we can save them. " are so deep.
Awesome that he can inspire the future this way...
Thanks. That's what is required.
We need more people to step up beyond their primary roles...
We can't develop into a true superpower by turning our back on portions of the nation... ignoring to this level is inhuman
We need to find more and showcase them
So many of us are unaware of such problems. Which is why we need to make the extra effort to showcase people who do MAKE the extra effort
You're welcome. Glad it inspired...
Down girl... there are other cute docs here too (looks in mirror and hides bald spot)
I know. It is an amazing concept and one that can change our country
Such person are so rare to find. Such stories make me realise what I am doing for nation.

MeenalSonal from AuraOfThoughts
we can do a lot just by dping, ironically, a little. It just has to positively benefit someone in need
Bushra said…
Very revolutionary work he's doing will definitely start of new era for Rajghat People. More power to his noble cause
Absolutely inspiring read. I am definitely sharing with #saverajghat to spread the word. Thank you for sharing this post. DR Ashwani is doing such a commendable job and at such a young age.
People like him make the world a better placerl to live in. Hats off to such real life heroes. Thanks for sharing.

Hiral Amodia said…
He is a truly inspiring real life hero. May he get more energy and support.
Dr.Ashwani Kumar is truely.an example for someone leading from front for the betterment of small community. Hope we get many such inspiring leaders.
RICHA said…
Doing something of this sort at such a small age that's like completely mind blowing, i have heard about rajghat i had my helper from there once. She told me how problematic life is there and i am surprised why the government does not act in places where there is genuinely help required, but truly a wonderful job.