Ashutosh Dikshit heads United Residents Joint Action (U.R.J.A). URJA is the Apex body of Resident Welfare Associations of Delhi and represents a collective strength of almost 2500 elected RWAs that together look after the interests of almost 5 million households and approximately 2 crore residents of Delhi.
URJA was set up in 2005 with the express intent of impacting governance at all levels in the National capital region of Delhi through better advocacy, interaction between residents and the government, and by bringing in thought leaders across many domains.
Both as the head of URJA and as a concerned and proactive citizen of Delhi, Ashutosh has been involved in a range of actions aimed at improving the lives of common citizens. In 2010 he organized children to demand playgrounds for them in his community and this led to two ornamental parks being dismantled and given to children for football and Cricket and the then Mayor of Delhi writing to all Municipal councilors on the subject. He continues this struggle for spaces for sport and for free play by children in Delhi including being part of a PIL in the Delhi High Court.
In 2011, he organised U.R.J.A volunteers to undertake a massive exercise of setting up Resident Ward Committees in the Undivided Municipal corporation of Delhi in all its 272 wards under a MoU with the then MCD for a participative governance initiative of the corporation.
The same year, along with a few other colleagues he undertook a padyatra across all of Delhi to meet each of the 70 MLAs in their constituencies. The objective was to press for an audit of private power distribution companies resulting in the Delhi Cabinet ordering an in principle audit by the CAG. URJA subsequently moved the Delhi Court over this issue when the then Government failed to order the CAG audit. URJA has since then also been working on improving functioning of local governments and RWAs through legal reform and better citizen-government interface.
In 2013 he, along with economists, architects, researchers , lawyers and professional of GK 2 Alaknanda, CR Park and DDA flats Kalkaji organised themselves in an initiative called ‘The Citizens Alliance’. The objective of the alliance was to improve the neighborhood as a place to live in for all sections of society. The mass movement of residents commenced its actions by first challenging and blocking the construction of a giant mega mall on community land in the middle of residential colonies. The Citizens’ Alliance, a registered NGO, has since grown into a premier community group of Delhi that works on empowering local communities through social interaction, improving accessibility to local markets and footpaths, and many other activities of interest to the old, homemakers, children and all common residents of the area. It also carries out research on urban planning and traffic and advocates adherence to the rule of law with the political class and the Government
When not involved in activities of public interest, Ashutosh devotes his time to the study of ancient Indian texts and leads regular discussion groups on the nuances of Bhagwad Gita and the Upanishads. Ashutosh hails from a family of Civil Servants, professionals and legal luminaries and this heritage also shows up in all his activities. Ashutosh leads a well-rounded family life as well; his wife and life partner Kavita is a designer and an artist of repute. Their son Aryaman is a budding photographer.