It’s been a year since I quit one of the most desiring career of Data Scientist to explore life beyond 8X8 cubical room at world’s top company in Bay Area.
Couple of colleagues and friends questioned the decision and were quite concerned about while few were sure that I would be back to the same cubical for the same or different company within-a-year.
With dew respect and thanks to their concerns, I would admit that it has been a year of challenges, learnings and witnessing something which I had never imagined.
The fear of uncertainty always kicks in whenever one starts to think about “trying-something-new”, whether it’s a very simple or the most complicated idea.
The very nature of human mind is to first create a security around the self and this “self” for most of us is the family, kids education, home, good food and few other materialistic items which attract us. Best efforts of our life goes into making this “self-environment” as good as we can afford to make and that keep us motivated to contribute better than yesterday to our jobs.
Two years back, when I analyzed my corporate progression and the life in most desiring cities in USA, kids going to the 10-out-of-10 school ratings and living in one of the most beautiful homes of San Ramon, California, I realized that my constant effort of building security around “the self” has trapped me into a “golden-cage” for rest of my life or most part of it until I pay back the giant-mortgage which may take next 15-20 years at least unless I win a lottery but one needs to buy tickets regularly for this to happen.
The “golden-cage” defined my day-to-day life, my daily schedule, my purchasing/food habits and what I can and can’t do. What lot of people call a “successful career” and “settled life” was forcing me to think beyond to identify the foundation stones of this success which helped me so far to progress from a remote village in India which did not have any electricity, cable or phone connection and proper road still a dream to come true even in 2018.
What made me cross the bridge from depressed situation to the successful life were blessings from parents and elders, teachers who built the foundation of hard work and honesty, University Professors who taught to keep discovering and all the friends and well wishers who were always ready to share their experiences and learnings.
With that many resources, I feel that any one could have gone to even more heights of success. I may have contributed a lot to my success but the contribution of those, when I was still struggling to deal with this world as a child can not be ignored.
That same thought motivated me to share all my experience and knowledge to those young minds looking for a guidance. Understanding the deep meaning of “Charity Begins at Home ” gave me strength to start a residential school to kids in rural areas which have limited resources for learning and building their career.
It was March 2017, I left California with my family after selling the home and all that which we collected in 11 years of living in US to setup a Self Sustaining Residential School integrated with agriculture farm to produce organic food and a dairy cow ranch to produce organic A2 milk for these children.
First few months were challenging mainly due to the transitional issues but one year into the thought and we have developed:
Infrastructure to house 200 cows, purchased 20 cows and plans to have rest of the cows by the end of 2018
Producing organic grains/vegetables and organic fodder for cows
Production of 200 liter A2 premium organic milk daily
Biogas production system producing gas for fuel and electricity generation from cow dung
Bio-fertilizer and bio-pesticides from cow urine and cow dung
We expect that this setup would generate enough revenue to fund free education to the kids and give them opportunity to learn from the nature around them. Our educational model would be focused on learning-by-doing and we would be building a skill development center so that each kid could have a hands on training on 20 different skills which we have identified and would be very relevant for their success after completing the education.
The journey has been very exciting so far and my hope is that by the end of this year, we would be able to build the school infrastructure which includes 20 classrooms, 4 laboratories, music/dance center and one computer lab besides building hostels for boys and girls to house 200 students altogether.
The teaching staff building, a kitchen and few guest houses are also part of the proposed plan. There is a long list of to-do items on the organic farming and dairy setup and I would keep posting about the progress from time to time with an open heart welcome to anyone interested to visit the setup and/or contribute to the success of this project in rural India.
Farmer|Data Scientist @ Vedic Tree