2014 Humanitarian Hero Ashok Kumar Adhikari

LOCATION: Damak, Jhapa, Nepal
POSITION: RSC Information Assistant

“My conscience says “I was born to serve those deprived ones.”

Growing up, Ashok was very aware of the discrimination that people around him received based on their caste, gender and social status, and was inspired to become a humanitarian and fight social discrimination. Now, he works with refugees to help them in the process of resettling to a third country. 

As part of the resettlement process, refugees often come to Ashok with questions about the process of seeking asylum, but also about cultures and customs in their respective new countries. One man, a Bhutanese refugee in a Nepalese camp, came to Ashok to ask if he could bring his ‘Dhyangro,’ (a type of drum used by Shamans) to his new country. Ashok felt proud of this man, and impressed that he was fighting to hold on to his culture. 

Of his work, Ashok finds the urgency of needs most challenging, especially when they fall outside the scope of his agency’s abilities. Often refugees approach him with an immediate need and a desire for an instant remedy, and he is upset when he cannot fulfil these needs. Still, he says he always tries to offer the best information to ease anxiety and to help however he can.

“After solving the problems, when I see a smile and glow on their faces that gives me immense pleasure.”