Ashok Verma

Blogger, Tourist Guide, Social Activist

Ashok Kumar Verma strives to enrich different facets of his life. He works for the promotion of world peace and social services. His mission is to transmit his knowledge of the oldest living city of the world, Varanasi, to the tourists he guides. One of Ashoka’s many dreams is to tour the world to get to know different people and carry India’s message of goodwill, peace and friendship to every corner of the earth.

As a tourist guide

Ashok Kumar Verma alias Ashok Anand, a Government of India recognized tourist guide, has many achievements to his credit. Well versed in every aspect of the rich and glorious cultural tradition of Kashi, he is in the truest sense a friend, philosopher and guide to every tourist. Amicably, he explains the beauty of the Ghats of Banaras, the religious interpretation of Kashi, the spirituality of the Ganga, temples, and Sarnath the seat of Buddha.He allows tourists from different countries to consider themselves a part of India for a while, especially the great culture of Kashi.

All tourists guided by him leave the city with a positive image of Kashi, which is proof of his skill as a guide. Their feeling of happiness and appreciation finds expression in their letters of gratitude.

“Of all the guides we have met in India, you are undoubtedly the best and friendliest.”

Such letters are not only a valuable treasure for Ashok but also testimonies of his devotion and skill.

He had the opportunity to show the city to many world famous personalities such as South African President Nelson Mandela, Sri Lankan President R. Premdasa, writer from Mauritius Abhimanyu Anath and dramatist, actor Girish Karnad and others. Such experiences have given a new dimension to his thought and imagination.

This is why he is especially recommended as guide to many foreign tourists visiting the city. He not only shows them the city from his own point of view but also relates to their own aesthetic sense. His cultural and spiritual interpretation of the city leaves a deep impression on their minds.

He acted as Nelson Mandela’s guide. He explained to first lady of Surinam, Mrs. Gijela Shanker about Sarnath. Abhimanyu Anath of Mauritius and Girish Karnad also appreciated his services. He attended I.T.B. Berlin, Germany in 2005 and represented the holy city of Varanasi.

He is also proud to have served as guide for Mr. Pritzer of Hyatt Group, journalists from The New York Times, Fulbright professors and scholars, guests of USEFI (U.S. Educational Foundation in India), the delegation of NWAB (National Women’s Association of Bhutan) and hundreds of prestigious groups/FITs of Cox & Kings, Indebo, Journeys tours, Travcoa, Orient Express, Banyan Tours, Adventure World, Tema, Far Horizan, Incentive Destinations, Designer holidays and Bales among others. He was invited by Creative to deliver lecturers to their prestigious American Groups (Tauk World Discovery).

Social activities

Unaffected by sorrow and discontent, the stoic Ashok is like that thickly leaved tree that bearing pain of autumn and storms provides cool shadows to all.

Ashok Kumar Verma is known in his circle as Ashok Anand. He is really the epitome of bliss. He is not only a Buddhist in faith but lives the tenets of Buddhism in word, thought, and action. Unaffected by sorrow and discontent, the stoic Ashok is like that thickly leaved tree that bearing pain of autumn and storms provides cool shadows to all. The soothing affect of his personality is felt by all who come in contact with him, known or unknown .

Naturally inclined to fight for social justice, striving for harmony among all, Ashok’s social circle is vast. As an activist, and an enlightened and broadminded person, he is interested in almost all aspects of social welfare, education, religion, politics, literature, music, media, theater, and cultural activities. He is a gifted photographer too. Some of his photographs can be seen in gallery section of this website.

In every role he is happy and content, because like a true Buddhist he lives the ideals of compassion, love and brotherhood.

By establishing the Ashok Mission Educational Society and Ashok Mission School, he provides quality education to children and gives them good Sanskaras. As manager of Ashok Mission for many years, he is also devoted to spread Buddhist philosophy.

He has also left his cultural mark in as an organizer, coordinator and presenter of various literary and cultural programmes. Able to speak Hindi, English, Urdu and Bhojpuri, he expresses to his creativity in literature. He has made a mark in the literary work through “The Feeling” an anthology of his essays and poems.

Associated with government sponsored Buddhist festivals and many national and international voluntary organizations, he has successfully conducted many programmes. For ten years, he appeared on All India Radio Varanasi as speaker on various topics.

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