Tribals gather every day near the district hospital in Jhabua to meet a man to tell him about their problems. The 50-year-old man writes applications for the tribals and take them to officials to present their grievances.
Ramprasad, who worked as a journalist in a local newspaper, sits at a tea kiosk run by his wife Manju. He uses a small table at the kiosk as a help desk for the tribals, including women and elderly people.
“I write more than 40 applications daily for the tribals of the region. Most of the tribals are not literate and they don’t know how to write applications to present their problems before officials, and get benefits. Hence I took this job,” said Ramprasad.
“I left journalism to serve the tribals this way. I find it more worthwhile,” he said, offering this reporter a cup of tea made by her wife.
Born in Rajasthan, Ramprasad studied till Class 10. He came to Jhabua about 30 years ago and married Manju, a tribal. She talks to tribals in Bhili and acts a translator for his husband who writes applications in Hindi.
“My husband works for free for poor tribals. My tea kiosk is a sort of a help centre for them,” she said.
“I write applications and then go with the tribals to submit them at the departments concerned. Many administrative and health officers know me and help me in redressing the tribals’ grievances,” Ramprasad said.
“Ramprasad is available for the tribals throughout the day. He has a passion for helping the tribals. He is doing it for the last 12 years,” said Benedict Damor, a tribal rights activist.
“People initially laughed at me saying that I spoiled my life by writing applications, but I am happy that I am working for tribals everyday,” said Ramprasad.