Asha Gond

1_Who is Asha Gond?

Asha Gond on Wikipedia

Ulrike Reinhard about Asha Gond:

Asha comes from a tribal, very poor tribal family. She used to be very shy and lived a secluded life. Over the years she has become self-confident. She is now 23 years old and a trailblazer for the girls in the village. She escaped an arranged marriage and convinced her parents to set her free – being resilient was her way forward. At times Asha can be very empathetic and thoughtful. She looks pretty and all the boys in the village admire her – often secretly. She knows how to play with this. She has the power to drive change and is leading by example. She is somehow fearless, comfortable in expressing her own opinion respectfully and doesn’t take “no” for an answer. She dropped out of school when she was 14, became a pretty cool skateboarder and with her skateboarding she became famous all over India. She has won multiple Indian championships and has participated in the World Championships in China.

With skateboarding her interest in education came back and she finally passed her high school exams. Asha is very authentic. Theoretical learning is not her thing, she needs the practical touch. She is struggling with her background and her new “role” in the village – her life is often like a roller coaster and her emotional state is very unstable. Sometimes she doesn’t know how to overcome the obstacles in her life and then she becomes stubborn and lazy. Then she throws in the towel. And doesn’t get anything done. She hates it when she is in such a mind set.

2_What has Asha achieved in skateboarding?

State level – Madhya Pradesh qualification (first event was in 2020)

  • 2020 – State champion, qualified for National Championships
  • 2021 – State champion, qualified for National Championships
  • 2022 – State champion, qualified for National Championships

National level – Indian Championships (first event was in 2019)

  • 2019 National Championships in Vishakhapatnam: Gold
  • 2020 National Championships in Vishakhapatnam: Gold
  • 2021 National Championships in Chandigarh: Bronze
  • 2022 National Games in Gujarat: made it to the 2nd round, missed the finals
  • 2023 National Championships – Asha did not participate


  • 2019 World Championships in Nanjing, China – participant

3_Asha’s journey over time

This is the timeline from the day Ulriek came into Asha’s village, Janwaar.

The illustration was drawn by Karen Boyhen.

4_What are Adivasi?

Adivasi is the Hindi term for “original Inhabitants”. They are believed to be the first inhabitants of India. Adivasis have distinct languages, religions and forms of self-government, together with a deep bond to their land and respect for nature. However, India has ignored their demands to be recognised as indigenous and taken steps which threaten the Adivasis’ very survival.

Adivasis’ traditional homelands have been taken for industrialization; for coal, forest and mineral exploitation; for tourism developments; and for nature and wildlife parks. This ‘internal colonization’ has combined with the forces of globalization to forcibly displace Adivasis from their territories, and to ensure that while 85 per cent of Adivasis live in poverty, they receive little or none of the wealth ex- tracted from their land.

In the early 21st century the Adivasi estimated population was 104 million.

Ulrike Reinhard

1_Who is Ulrike Reinhard?

Ulrike Reinhard on Wikipedia. Her website. Her Youtube channel. Her TEDx-talks.


  • Since 2023: cities as biospheres – an art-driven innovation lab
  • 2014 – 2023 Culture change project in India: Janwaar Castle
  • parallel: DNA digital – An initiative that brought digital natives together with CEOs
  • parallel: 10 years of cooperation with Prof. Dr. Peter Kruse, next practice
  • Management consultancy / change processes. Clients: Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Bertelsmann Foundation, Google and NATO, among others
  • Founder of whois publishing house, publications in the field of new media (who is who in multimedia, who is who in e-learning etc.)
  • 8 years “bi-coastal” working and living in New York and San Francisco/ sponsoring and product placement in TV and film
  • Süddeutscher Rundfunk (SDR, today merged into SWR) paid for my PhD.
  • Freelancer at ARD/ZDF during studies.
  • Studied business administration at the University of Mannheim, Germany.


Widow, mother of one.
Freesoul, Nomad and World Traveller. Ulrike has visited more than 100 countries.

2_What brought Ulrike to India? Why has she left India?

Ulrike came in 2012 for the first time to India. She was invited to the UNBOX conference in Delhi – after the conference she went on a roadtrip to Mumbai and ended up in the middle of the road, in Khajuraho. With locals she started to make plans for a school project (we_school) there and came back to this place frequently. The school project didn’t work out but she established a Hole-in-the-Wall computer station at the government school and connected with people who would later bring her to Janwaar.

Ulrike left India in April 2020 because of Covid. After Covid India has rejected her visa thrice. She is not allowed back in. No reason was given.

3_Has Ulrike written/published other books?


  • Skater Girl Asha – When you dare to dream (print / online)
  • The Nomad (series of stories/reportages on her travels – online)


  • Janwaar. Beyond Skateboarding (print)
  • A Roadtrip to Bombay (print)


  • REMOTE: The Rural Changemakers Of Janwaar (print)


  • Think Quarterly – The Data Issue (Think Quarterly is a unique communications tool that brings together some of the world’s leading minds to discuss the big issues facing businesses today. A magazine by Google – print)
  • Thrive – Magazine of the Global Economic Symposium, The Kiel Institute for the World Economy


2008 – 2017

  • we-magazine – multiple editions (print and online)


1996 -2005

  • Ulrike owned the publishing house whois Verlag: multiple annuals about Internet, e-commerce, mobile solutions, elearning, multimedia (print, online CD-Rom)



  • Interaktives Fernsehen – University of Mannheim and Süddeutscher Rundfunk (ARD) (print)

The book

1_Who was involved?

A BIG BIG thank you to all the supporters who have helped to make this book happen. It would not have been possible without you – I’ve listed them in alphetical order:

2_How the book came to be

My original idea was to write a book for young readers (14-19) and package the adventures of Asha and her two friends, Anil and Arun, into stories. Stories in which these three main characters interact and share their feelings, achievements, challenges since the skatepark was built in their small village called Janwaar.

All based on real stories. Stories about the World Skateboarding Championships, or how they explore the jungles in their neighbourhoods and find their way around in the city-jungle of Delhi. How they started and run their own company and how they felt about their first travels within India and abroad. Finally, how it is to live at the bottom end of India’s society when you are born Adivasi, a tribal kid.

However, as I was writing I was more and more drawn into the direction of what had happened to Asha – and I mainly focus on her – because I’ve built a skatepark in her village. It is a documentary enriched with many small stories showing Asha’s transformation from a young and shy Adivasi girl into a self-confident, radiant young woman. From a girl with no rights living at the bottom of India’s social structure to a voice for many girls in India. That’s one part. And the other part is the documentary of my doing in India and thinking how to trigger and drive change. Both parts are very closely intertwined. This interdependence is the path on which Asha and I have moved. And that’s what this book is about.

It is at times very emotional.
It is meant to motivate YOU!
To change yourself and to change the world for the better.

3_Who should read the book?

The book is equally suitable for CHANGEMAKERS. People who are driving change in foreign cultures or work in development aid. The approach I’ve taken in Janwaar was multiple times awarded and I replicated the skatepark model in four different places and inspired many more.

The book is as fitting for those WHO ENABLE OTHERS – coaches, trainers, mentors, tudors and teachers – and SELF-LEARNERS. Also for them the part with the open ended questions across different areas of life at the beginning of each chapter is helpful. The most important thing about these questions are NOT the answers, but the FACT that they are ASKED!

And last but not least this book is written for all of my SUPPORTERS who enabled me to do what I’ve done and who trusted my process. The book is not written in a chronological order, there are quite some leap in time, but surely you will recognise stories I told you before and you will find new ones, stories you weren’t aware of yet. They show how wide-ranging our activities were and how deep their impact was. And you will learn more about Janwaar and its wild and lovely bunch of people!

4_What to expect form the book?

The book is emotional and motivational. It covers 11 important areas, in which Asha faced game-changing challenges and always found a way to manage or at least learned how to deal with them:

  • family
  • travels
  • skateboarding
  • learning
  • media
  • business
  • social media
  • music
  • nature
  • conflict
  • pain

And we ask some profound questions! Every chapter opens with some questions – for you, the reader. It’s NOT about getting answers, it’s about the FACT that these questions are ASKED. Every single question creates YOUR reflection space for the chapter. 

The  book includes QR codes with direct links to our best videos.

5_Where do we ship? And what does it cost?

We are shipping  

  • from US to US and Canada (via UPS – for one book 4.65 USD)
  • from India to India (India postal Service – TBC)
  • from Germany to Europe (costs DHL)