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Varanasi, July 27: God’s world has innumerable wonders, riches, and diversities for us to enjoy and we human beings as a good practice need to preserve and better it. It would not be wrong to say that, people do see themselves as part of a larger society and aspire to help it. Some volunteer in the institutions of civil society such as charities, schools, associations, and local self-help groups. Some look after the needy in shelters, community help centers, and hospitals. They educate themselves and others about the issues and stand by the truth. They speak as eagerly as they listen, critique as well as solve.
One such good citizen that you would come across in the mystic and spiritual city of Varanasi is Dr. Ashok Kumar Sonkar. An Assistant Professor of History at the hallowed portals of Banaras Hindu University, Dr. Ashok Kumar Sonkar had a very humble beginning in the border region Paharia of Kashi. However, proving to be a living example of the adage “a man is a product of his environment but the strong man makes his own environment “he not only educated himself but also managed to teach at the same faculty where he got his education from.
A good citizen anywhere around the world is both patriotic toward his country and committed to his beliefs. Good citizens are shaped and cultivated by the history, art, and literature of their motherland and invested in the success of their communities.
Even when young and green behind the ears Dr. Ashok Kumar Sonkar was always thoughtful about the upliftment of his city and community. He actively advocated for the rights of the poor, uneducated, and Dalit community. For his commitment, dedication, and sincere efforts towards narrowing the gap between his fellow community people and prosperity he was adorned as the chairperson for the SC/ST students organizing committee in the year 2009-2010. He has actively campaigned for stalwarts like Murali Manohar Joshi during his college days and today for Mr. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi
Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh happened to him as he felt that it is Sangh and Sangh alone that endeavors towards the preservation of age-old culture and diversity and rich heritage of India. The conclusion came from the test done at the anvil of his being a student and having profound knowledge of ancient Indian History.
Today attaining a position of respect in the society has further emboldened Dr. Ashok Sonkar’s resolve to serve and to give back to the society he lives in. As a conscious citizen, he is continuously working towards bringing his very own Khatik community from Varanasi, Chandouli, and other nearby districts into the mainstream.
He is not a mere spectator or a mute facilitator but an active doer who has his ears to the ground and feet firmly placed in reality. He has started an active campaign about cleaning and upkeep of the ponds and other water bodies of the city of Varanasi. Every week he devoted one day to this noble cause. And like a good teacher that he is, he sets an example by cleaning, maintaining the areas around the water bodies. His noble actions have motivated many to give back to society.
The work of being a good citizen is never easy — it requires judgment, civility, and patience. When time and deliberations rise, laws are often amended to answer the needs of the people. In this contest, Dr. Ashok Sonkar believes that It is important to both obey the law and improve the law. Such reform should be done through acceptable means, with moral persuasion for the betterment of the whole.
Dr. Ashok Sonkar stands tall as a good Samaritan and yet is never forgetful of his humble beginnings of the lowest of the lowest strata of society. A much-loved teacher, a much-admired achiever, a well-respected member, a committed Sangh worker Dr, Ashok Sonkar continues to dedicate himself and his work for the good of his community and society as a whole.
Rare are the people who protect and rejuvenate their environment selflessly, their deeds inspire may be very few but the dedication they bring says it all.
Dr. Ashok Kumar Sonkar
Assistant Professor, Department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University.
Education: B.A., M.A., Ph.D. in History, Department of History, Faculty of Social Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, UGC-NET, ICHR-JRF, Post-Doctoral Fellow, ICSSR
One book Publishedentitled “SRILANKA KA ITIHAAS “Published in K.R. Publishers& Distributors, Varanasi, New Delhi- 2020.
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