Dr. Ravindra Bhusari
The man with a mission!
Dr. Ravindra J. Bhusari has come a long way in social activism. This well-known personality from Nagpur has successfully registered his name in the minds of people on global level because of the innovative ways he is using to bring about social change. This commerce graduate was interested in taking a Law degree but because of difficult economic situation and the pressing need to shoulder responsibilities of the family at a very young age he could not fulfill his dream of becoming a lawyer. He has completed his education on ‘earn and learn’ basis. He gained a lot of experience while working at various newspapers from 1981 to 1990. As a degree holder in Journalism and an experienced media person he got into the All India Radio as an announcer. This job has given him some stability, and also the opportunity to work on social issues in his spare time. As a freelance journalist he has written various articles on social problems that aimed at changing the public attitude. He has demonstrated versatile aspects of his personality by writing, directing and acting in dramas. He had to face and still faces discrimination from some members of the society because of his white skin. It was frustrating for him but he always tried to think in a positive way to overcome this racial stigma. Some people suggested him to become part of a social organization for such ‘differently colored’ people but he deliberately avoided that. In his own words – “I am not willing to create any special identity, god has gifted it to me anyways and I have to live with these people. Hopefully their attitude will change one day, and if they are teasing me or laughing at me then also I am happy that my presence makes them laugh and keeps them happy.”
By starting the exams based on Mahatma Gandhiji’s principles along with Adv. Smita Sarode-Singalkar he had created waves among people and organizations working on the rehabilitation issues. His organization provides free legal aid to the under-trial prison inmates in the central prisons of Nagpur, Pune and Akola.
Dr. Bhusari is a trustee of Sahyog Trust and a proponent of Akhil Bharatiya Phatake Virodhi Abhiyaan i.e. The Anti Crackers Movement working in the city of Nagpur. He works on issues such as the movement against firecrackers on the backdrop of global warming, air, and noise pollution. He works prominently on the issues affecting the environment and how citizens can come together to make a change in the present environmental situation.
In the recent Loksabha elections of India he came up with a very innovative way of spreading the message of the climate change and global warming. In an effort to highlight environmental problems and spread awareness among the state’s leaders, Sahyog Trust, a Nagpur-based NGO, is traveling to various constituencies of Maharashtra asking political parties to sign a unique oath. The oath reads: “The earth’s temperature is rising constantly. Trees are being felled for the sake of development and road widening and a dearth in replanting enough trees has raised the pollution further. By bursting fire crackers to express our joy at winning, we are not just contributing to dust and paper waste but also adding to air and noise pollution. Considering these issues, I am pledging that if my party wins this election, I or my party workers will not celebrate the victory by bursting crackers. I understand that fire crackers don’t just harm the atmosphere but is also an industry that encourages child labour. As a responsible contestant, I take an oath to refrain from bursting crackers to save the environment and humanity, if I win.”
This visionary, an unknown for many years and who attracted attention of many through various new-channels, who had to leave his dream of becoming an Advocate long back has now become a ‘Social-Advocate’. Using all his advocacy skills he is relentlessly working for a better world. His journey of social work has taken different twists and turns and now he has moved from ‘welfare’ to a ‘rights’ based approach by promoting ‘Human Rights and Law Defenders’ (HRLD) which is the legal intervention wing of Sahyog Trust. Dr. Bhusari is working on strengthening the access to justice for the poor and marginalized. His future plan is to start a human rights resource center wherein he will be working with the youth and disseminating the human thoughts by using movies as a tool. Currently he is busy in creating a ground for planting human rights culture. Vinoba Bhave once said, ‘we do not need full time social workers, in fact the part-time social workers will be more important.’ After witnessing the mammoth work of change that Dr. Bhusari has undertaken single handedly we can see the importance of Vinoba’s statement. Hope there will be more social change makers like him!
Dr. Ravindra Bhusari, a trustee of Sahyog Trust and a socio-environmental activist can be contacted at 93731 21680.