Raghuram Rajan’s Ex-Professor Left Everything to Work for Tribals


Alok Sagar, an ex-IIT professor who once taught ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, left his comfortable life to serve the tribals in the southern state of Madhya Pradesh. Alok Sagar is a former IIT Delhi professor who has spent 32 years of his life serving the poor and the oppressed in Madhya Pradesh. Sagar, during his time at the IIT Delhi in the 1980s. 

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Sagar was a resident of Delhi who did his bachelor in electrical engineering from the IIT Delhi and later completed his masters from the same university. He then went to the Houston University in Texas, United States to complete his PhD, following which he returned to the IIT Delhi later to start his professional career as a teacher.

By now, he has planted more than 50,000 trees in Betul. It later occurred t him that he could serve his country better by working on the ground at the basic grass root level with people. In 1982, Dr Sagar resigned from his post as a professor and started working with the tribals in Betul and Hoshangabad districts, trying to save the environment, trying to save one tree at a time. In all his years of the service of the environment, he has planted about 50,000 trees in Betul alone.

He also works for tribal welfare by being associated with the Shramik Adivasi Sangathan. For more than 3 decades, all the memory of his degrees has faded. Had it not been for the Ghodongari assembly elections, the presence of this noble soul would not have been recognised. 

The Betul district administration, unable to trace his background, are suspicious of sugar and ordered him to leave the place citing security reasons. It was then that Dr Sagar revealed his true identity. Dr. Sagar who taught Raghuram Rajan during his tenure as a professor at the IIT Delhi said that he doesn’t need his degrees to serve for people, he only requires his will power.

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