After one earns an engineering degree at IIT Delhi, and a Masters and PhD from Houston University in Texas, USA, the trajectory one's life usually takes may be pretty predictable. A cushy job and a comfortable living working with the best of the best, right? Well, according to Your Story, Alok Sagar is certainly a glorious exception to this rule.
After teaching at IIT Delhi in the 1980s, and shaping some of the greatest minds of our country including finance guru and ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Alok found his passion in working for the betterment of remote tribes in the Betul and Hoshangabad districts in Madhya Pradesh. And he's been doing that for the past 32 years.
For 26 years, Alok Sagar has been living in a remote village called Kochamu, that has no electricity or roads and just one primary school. The village is home to about 750 tribals and Alok has planted more than 50,000 trees in the region.
He believes that people can serve the nation better by working at the grassroots level.
"In India, people are facing so many problems, but people are busy proving their intelligence by showing their degrees rather than serving people."
- Alok told Hindustan Times
Alok prefers to maintain a low profile and his genius may have remained hidden if it weren't for Betul administration growing suspicious of him during their recent elections.
Unable to track his background, they asked him to leave. It was then that Alok revealed his long list of qualifications which the administration was surprised to find 100 percent verifiable.
Alok's story is truly one of fascinating simplicity. The man rides a bicycle, dresses himself in one of his three kurta sets and spends his days collecting and distributing seeds among the people of the tribes and working closely with the Shramak Adiwasi Sangathan.
He is easily one of the most inspiring examples in India of dedication to the development of the people. A great mind, and an even greater human being, we salute him.