Man rides his bike around India to make villages ecologically sustainable
New Delhi: Ankit, a 32-year-old former journalist from Jaipur, embarked on a cycling mission to transform Indian villages into environmentally sustainable villages and create self-sufficient communities. For nearly four years (or 1,500 days), he cycled half of the country through 15 states in northern, western, southern and central India, and eight Union Territories. .
Over the past five years, the 32-year-old former journalist has managed to transform some 30 villages in central, southern and parts of northern India into self-sustaining ecological villages, while teaching the village community a sustainable lifestyle and livelihood. win through sustainable and environmentally friendly means. Ankit taught communities how to build long lasting and sustainable mud houses, houses made from plastic waste, organic farming, dry toilets, rainwater harvesting, making utensils using coconut shells and wooden sticks, wood carving, wooden cutting boards, among others. .
Recently, Ankit built an autonomous village in Krishnagiri in Tamil Nadu near Bangalore and has been instrumental in teaching the village community about different kinds of arts, crafts, organic farming and building construction. natural earth houses. Ankit and the villagers named their village “Innisfree Farm”.
Ankit told the Sunday Guardian: “I started organic farming and building earthen houses using organic materials like locally available red mud and brown mud, jaggery, honey and egg yolk. , an ancient tribal house-building technique. Houses provide economical thermal insulation, natural malleability while reducing their carbon footprint. All of this I have learned during my journey and from my experiences with the tribes and the ancient wisdom of our country.
In the same village, Ankit also taught the village community how to build earthen sofas using plastic waste and recycling techniques. “This technique was also used to build mud houses where bottle bricks were designed using plastic bottles filled with bundle wrappers, which looked like traditional bricks. Alcohol bottles collected from nearby rivers and Hogenakkal waterfalls were used in the construction. Natural termite repellents were created by combining water with holistic herbs like neem leaves, kadukai seeds, green peppers, garlic, turmeric, and lime. Ankit told this newspaper.
Over the past five years, Ankit has visited 15 states and eight Union Territories and all of it on his humble bike. During his journey he touched the lives of thousands of people across the country where he stayed in villages and engaged with the village community, teaching them and teaching them about his experiences. Ankit stays with the local community where he learns about their culture, eating habits and way of life.
Ankit left on a mission on August 27, 2017 with the goal of achieving a world record of being the only man in the world to have traveled all of India on a cycle in the shortest possible time, but 150 days longer. he later gave in his quest to achieve that world record and decided to embark on a different journey to touch the lives of millions of people he meets on the streets every day as he pedals across the country .
“In 2017 I started my cycling journey in pursuit of achieving a goal for myself, but during the trip I met a lot of people, stayed with and spoke to different communities , I learned about their life, their skills and soon this pursuit turned into my passion to transform rural India into a sustainable India. The things I learn from a community, I pass this knowledge on to the other community, in this way, I work towards building sustainable and self-reliant village communities, ”says Ankit.
Ankit further says that he chose to ride a bike and see India because he believes this is what will bring him closer to the real Indian people and help them penetrate deeper into Indian villages.
Ankit named his humble bike “Hawa Mahal”.
Over the next two years, he believes he will complete his entire journey through India. Ankit is currently in a village near Bengaluru and plans to move to central India in the coming days. After covering states like Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, he aims to move to eastern Indian states like Odisha, Bihar, and West Bengal and further into the North Indian states in over the next two years.