Conducting Elections, Protecting Environment and Writing Tomes, Everything Comes Easy To Him
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 7 Feb 2023, 9:12 am IST
- 4 minutes read
- Former Central Election Commissioner, Mr. Ashok Lavasa has written two books ‘An Uncivil Servant: The Success Story of a Bureaucrat Turned Businessman’ and An Ordinary Life: Portrait of an Indian Generation while other two are in progression.
- Mr. Ashok Lavasa is a 1980- batch IAS of Haryana cadre who retired in 2017
- During his service, he served two years as Secretary for Forests and Climate Change (GOI) and represented the country in many talks
- Retired IAS officer Mr. Ashok Lavasa is currently the Vice President, Asian Development Bank
Spending almost four decades as civil servant and serving on some key positions, Mr. Ashok Lavasa has earned a special stature of his own for his work & contribution. A 1980-batch officer of Haryana cadre Mr. Lavasa retired in 2017 and is currently serving as the Vice President of Asian Development Bank.
He is one of few officers who represented the country on various national & international fora. Other than serving as Secretary Finance (GOI), Secretary Civil Aviation (GOI) he also worked as Secretary for Forests and Climate Change (GOI) for a significant time and considers it one of the highlights from his journey.
Mr Lavasa has inclination towards literature. He has already two books under his belt – ‘An Uncivil Servant: The Success Story of a Bureaucrat Turned Businessman’ and ‘An Ordinary Life: Portrait of an Indian Generation’ while two others are work in progress.
FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Mr. Lavasa who before joining the civil services worked at State Bank of India and then Lecturer in Delhi University, got the opportunity to serve as Principal Secretary and Financial Commissioner (Renewable Energy Sources), Principal Secretary and Financial Commissioner (Power), Chief Coordinator (Industries), resident commissioner in government of Haryana. He represented India at COP-21 Paris climate Change negotiations held in 2015. He also led the country in Montreal Protocol (to protect the ozone layer) and then in Bio-Diversity Convention. The officer considers his stint as Secretary Forests and Climate Change (GOI), for two years the golden period. He always had a great love for nature and has been pro-environment & conservation. He says, “I believe in this because we need to respect the nature & its power and try to be in harmony.” Post- retirement Mr. Lavasa also served as Central Election Commissioner.
BIOGRAPHY OF A FRIEND
Since his childhood he was always fascinated about literature. He is a big fan of both English & Hindi literature and his go to writers are Kabir, Mirza Ghalib and William Shakespeare. “These three had a very unique approach to life. Only a few people or writers could understand and present the facets of life, like they have done”, he says.
He is blessed with words and never misses a chance to write his diary. In his younger days he used to write for magazines and academic letters but his first book published in 2006 titled ‘An Uncivil Servant: The Success Story of a Bureaucrat Turned Businessman’. The book is biography of Mr. Ravi Mohan Sethi who was an IAS of 1970 batch and successfully established his business in Noida. Mr. Lavasa met him in the Academy where Mr. Sethi was a faculty member. Soon, they developed a bond and used to connect via letters. Mr. Sethi himself was a good writer but he chose Mr. Lavasa to pen his story. Recalling how this happened Mr. Lavasa says, “He called me one day and said he was trying to write his story but it wasn’t happening. He requested me to write for him. Since, I was always fond of writing so I took up his request.”
Mr. Sethi provided him few recordings on cassettes and it took two years for Mr. Lavasa to complete his biography. The book got good reviews in the literary world.
TRIBUTE TO FATHER
It took him more than a decade to publish another one. His second book ‘An Ordinary Life: Portrait of an Indian Generation’ is the story of his father and his generation. Mr. Lavasa’s father died in 2003 and during his last days he wrote a diary. The diary was about his life, the incident happened during his time like 1965 war or agricultural revolution and also had the principle & values he grew up with.
When Mr. Lavasa found the diary he felt this story needs to publistod as it was not only about his father but about the entire generation. He says, “My father wrote 40 pages but my book is of 300 pages. This happened because I tried to research & understand more about the things & incident my father mentioned in his diary. The idea was to give readers a book which talks about the life of that entire generation.”
His next book is already with a publisher which is very different from his previous book. This book is about some places of worship, faith & unique culture in the country which are still missed from the tourist. With this book he had tried to present the story behind these places which has generated a strong belief for the locals & also the people who got the chance to visit it.
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