My name is Raghvendra Upadhyay but please call me Nandan. I live in Varanasi in North India.
- I write a personal blog. It is at this site, GroovyGanges.org.
- I manage a guesthouse. If you are in Varanasi then you can rent one of the apartments in my home. Read more about Groovy Ganges Guesthouse at GroovyGanges.com.
- I am a tour guide. Read about the tours I offer at GroovyTours.com.
- Since 2009 I have been a manager of a child sponsorship organization through which children in my area get foreign money to fund their educations. Read about it at ChanceIndia.org.
- Since 2007 I have done a lot of HIV education projects, sex worker research, and attend LGBT events. Read about an NGO I founded called Sanjeevani Booti.
- Since 2007 I have worked with activist Nandlal Master in the nearby village of Mehdiganj. We do lots of projects together, but the area is most known for its protests against the American company Coca-Cola. Read about their organization, Lok Samiti.
- Check my portfolio to see the media work I have done. In summary, if anyone needs to do interviews, research, filming, or photography in North India then I make connections for them.
I was born in early 80s. I was born and grew up in Benares (Varanasi) and I am proud to be born in Benares because this city taught me myths and might both. I attended Harishchandra Post Graduate Degree College to get a bachelors degree in commerce. I started an MBA course at Sikkim Manipal University but I decided to quit because the program was not in accord with my interests since my business is online and international. It is my dream to complete my MBA and do a Ph.D. in the intersection of sociology and environmental management.
I went to a government school until high school and unfortunately government schools in Uttar Pradesh are nothing but a waste of time if the students are not serious. If you don’t take care of yourself, then school never takes care of you. And I, like most of the other students, did not take care of myself but I was good in English, maths and commerce. My professional life started with a part-time job at a cyber cafe in 1999. Later I did other kinds of commercial sales, and in 2004 I started a traditional silk shop in Benares.
After the silk shop, I started a guest house for foreign students and researchers in 2006 and this business is still running successfully. Currently I have been working with tourists, foreign students and researchers for the past five years as translator (Hindi-English or Bhojpuri-English) or research and production assistant and I just love my job. I have worked with many international media such as CBC, MTV Italy, SBS Australia, VPRO Netherlands, Financial Times and Penguin Group.
I have worked with lots of individual students and some university groups. One example is that I worked with a university from the United States called DePauw University in January 2011. They had a group of students visiting my city who were interested in volunteering and learning more about the social issues my city was facing. I organized their trip to a village and arranged and appointment for an interview with an NGO which is working on community development and which is famous all over the world for its fight against Coca-Cola.
I have worked with a San Francisco based organization called AIDSvideos. I did translation of their HIV & AIDS education scripts in Hindi and Bhojpuri and filmed it in Varanasi. Although the whole project is about translating the scripts in other Indian languages as well and I am still working on it. I have passed tour guide exam organized by Ministry of Tourism for Government of India, have got training and now I am a government-approved tour guide for North India.
I have founded two NGOs named Sanjeevani Booti and ChanceIndia. I founded Sanjeevani Booti with help of my friend Mr. Lane Rasberry in the year 2007. Sanjeevani Booti’s aim is to provide education about sexually transmitted diseases to local community and promote researches. I founded ChanceIndia with help of my other friend Mr. Attila Csapo in the year 2009. ChanceIndia’s aim is to help poor kids in going to school by finding sponsors to sponsor their education. I want to promote activism in Varanasi hence it is just a start and I want to keep supporting and promoting more and more honest NGOs.
I have a deep interest in research so it doesn’t matter what kind or what subject. I just want to learn as much as possible. So if you are reading this site and if your interests match with mine and have any desire to do research in India, then contact me, and I will help you in any way possible to produce quality research data. My interests are following:
- Women Rights
- Human Rights
- Equal Rights
- Gay Rights
- HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
- Human Body Science (I hardly understand science but I have a deep interest in understanding basics about human body)
- Ghosts (I don’t want to believe that there are ghosts around but I love hearing about them and I want to help people who destroy their lives by thinking that their life is affected by ghosts)
- Easy, Convenient and Effective Solutions to Problems (I have a deep interest in finding easy and effective solutions to problems. I know my society, and I know that Indians never want to compromise with religion so I try to find answers in religious books and stories related to Gods’ and Goddesses’ lives and use them as examples or answers to solve the problems. And believe me Hindu religious books answer each and every question)
I hope to work together with you. Peace.