Drive down 45 kilometres southwest from the city of Pune and you will see a beautiful man-made forest in the Sahyadri range. But when Dr. Pravin Chordia bought this property in the year 2000, it was still barren land. The natural forest had been destroyed, despite Sahyadri being a region that receives heavy rainfall. Dr. Chordia decided that this would be the place where he would reclaim his life by getting close to nature.
Dr. Chordia was a general surgeon who ran his own hospital in Pune. But a flourishing career of 22 years still left him feeling disturbed. The illnesses that he saw on a daily basis, the increasing dependency on medicines, and the mad rush of a city that was becoming increasingly polluted – all these made him conscious that something was not right with the way we live. “I felt we are getting alienated from nature, which is catastrophic. We cannot sustain our lives if we continue to throng our cities and shun nature. This feeling was reinforced when my son was diagnosed with asthma. I decided to change things,” he says.