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A Book that Tells Stories of People Who Have Been the Change They Wanted to See in the World

2010-batch IAS officer Ashutosh Salil has co-authored the book, Being the Change in the Footsteps of the Mahatma, with award-winning journalist Barkha Mathur The book showcases the struggles, determination and life stories of these people, whose raison d'être is being the change they want to see in the world The stories are of people who have fought against odds in order to ensure the dignity of those who have been denied their basic rights
Indian Masterminds Stories

2010-batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre, Mr. Ashutosh Salil, has co-authored the book, Being the Change in the Footsteps of the Mahatma, along with award-winning journalist, Ms. Barkha Mathur from Nagpur. The book narrates the stories of 14 individuals who have led extraordinary lives in the service of some of the most marginalised and needy.

Mr. Salil, who is an alumnus of National Law School and Harvard Law School, and a Fulbright Scholar, is currently the Private Secretary to the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Development of North Eastern Region, Government of India. Speaking with Indian Masterminds, he shared details about the book. 

THE IDEA

The book, co-authored by IAS officer Ashutosh Salil and journalist Barkha Mathur, has seven stories of 14 different people who Mr. Salil got to know during his various postings in Maharashtra – Amravati, Wardha and Chandrapur. Ms. Mathur has also covered the lives and works of these people whose stories appear in the book.

IAS officer Ashutosh Salil

“They are the men and women who have been working for the community, society and for the people in the remotest areas of Maharashtra. We wanted to tell their stories of courage, commitment and hard work, to the world at large. And that’s how we decided that we will write about them and bring their stories to light,” Mr. Salil said. The book consists of stories of doctors, environmentalists and teachers who have been working endlessly in the remotest areas.

Mr. Salil said that the idea came to him when he was on study leave in the USA. Subconsciously, these people and their works were there in his mind all the time. “As I was on study leave, I got time and decided to reach out to my co-author Barkha Mathur and asked her if we could do this,” he said.

THE STORIES

The stories are of people who have fought against odds in order to ensure the dignity of those who have been denied their basic rights.

Among the individuals profiled in the book are doctors, a teacher, an elected representative, and social workers. The book showcases the struggles, determination and life stories of these people, whose raison d’être is being the change they want to see in the world. Their causes are as diverse as fighting for forest rights, healing tribal communities with medical and holistic cures, ensuring education for children who would otherwise be condemned to the darkness of exploitation.

Journalist Barkha Mathur

Those profiled in the book include Bandu Dhotre, a tribal man who saved a critical tiger habitat from being destroyed by mining rights given to one of India’s biggest corporate houses; Padma Shri recipients Dr Ravindra Kohle and his wife Smita who have not just provided health care to a remote village but also succeeded in bringing down the farmer suicide rate there; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant-winning physician couple Ashish and Kavita Satav, who have ensured significant reduction in infant mortality and increased availability of health care for a remote tribal area; and Aniket Amte and Dr Digant Amte, grandsons of legendary social worker Baba Amte who are able torchbearers of the family legacy of service.

On his future writing plans, Mr. Salil said, “As of now, my work keeps me busy, but if something interesting comes up, I will definitely write, but there is no immediate plan as such.”

THE FEEDBACK

Mr. Salil shared that so far, they have got some really positive feedback from people about the book. There are two kinds of feedback, one in terms of how the book is doing. It is doing well as people are buying and reading it. “Then there is the feedback on whether people are liking the content or not. Number of people have called up or texted us, appreciating the fact that we are talking about the people who were not being talked about. We have got some excellent reviews on Amazon as well,” he said.

Praise for the Book

He further informed that they have recently published the Marathi edition of the book as well, and are now looking forward for the feedback from people on it.

Link to buy the book, Being the Change:

https://amzn.eu/d/axzGJkv


Indian Masterminds Stories

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