Most of us these days are striving for that glamourous high paying job in some big metropolitan city. That has become the ‘cool’ way to live. Our Instagram feeds get lit with #wanderlust from posh resorts and TGIF party pictures. And in our never-ending chase for wealth, power and thrill, we often tend to forget our roots.
So when someone gives up their fancy city lives and moves to remote areas to do some good, it is refreshing and inspiring.
And that is exactly what Rajesh Kumar aka Rosesh Sarabhai from popular television show Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai has done.
According to Mumbai Mirror, Rajesh has given up his life in Mumbai and shifted to his hometown of Burma to take up ‘zero-budget spiritual farming’.
The 42-year-old actor is working towards making it a smart village. The philosophy they follow rejects the use of chemicals for organic alternatives. Following Rajesh’s persistent pursual of the matter with the electricity board, the village finally received electricity in February this year. He traded his TV and film career for this minimalist lifestyle almost seven months ago.
Speaking of the moment he decided to make the drastic career shift, Rajesh says:
“I was sitting under a mango tree, somewhere around here, and that was when it struck me, almost like Buddha’s story.
When I visited Barma last year, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My father had converted our ancestral land from a wasteland to one capable of producing a range of vegetables, fruits and crops in just five years. without using any chemicals for the most part.”
Another motivating factor was a UN study which stated that a portion of agricultural land in India would be rendered barren within two years due to do climatic changes. In addition, he also learned that a college friend Nityanand Deepak, an employee of the public health sector for 17 years, had turned towards organic farming in his village in Sasaram, Bihar, three years ago and had encouraged over 100 farmers to follow suit.
He says that the field needs to be free of chemicals and synthetic enhancers for at least three years, for the yield to be deemed organic.
Rajesh’s father, Shivanand Prasad Singh, a 71-year-old says that his involvement with the Rally for Rivers campaign last year is what escalated his environmental concern. He added:
“That the river, which used to flow next to our farm, has gone dry, perhaps, triggered something in him.”
Understandably, the actor turned farmer’s life has drastically changed in the last few months. His daily schedule which involved constant travelling for work has been replaced with milking his cows and inspecting his farmland and checking climatic suitability to grow a range of produce.
His family is still in Mumbai, but they keep visiting, says Rajesh. The father of two credits his wife Madhvi for being supportive and encouraging throughout.
Speaking of the perception that farming is a low-income job, he says:
“I want to change that perception. If farmers employ spiritual farming, within five years they would earn at least 40 per cent more. Then, they won’t have to go to cities to become drivers and watchmen.”
He cites that unlike general assumptions, it wasn’t the lack of work in the entertainment industry that drove him to this. He claims the kind of roles he was offered wasn’t challenging enough for him and that they all were some iteration of ‘Rosesh Sarabhai’.
In a time when celebrities only pick up social activism and so-called public awareness campaigns for promotions and a quick fix spotlight, Rajesh’s move is much praiseworthy. The actor has proven that he is more than just talk. Kudos to him.