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POSITIVE BREAKING

ANKIT ARORA;FORMER JOURNALIST PEDALS HIS WAY TO CREATE ARTS & CRAFTS RICH ECO-VILLAGE

by Juhi Tripathi

Date & Time: Jan 02, 2022 3:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute


He's a world-record-breaking cyclist, a former journalist, and a proponent of sustainable living. His 20,000-kilometer cycling ride, which began in 2017 and took him across 15 states, has now resulted in the establishment of an eco-village.

Who Is Ankit Arora ?

Ankit Arora, 32, of Rajasthan, founded Innisfree Farm, a community village in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri area, around 90 kilometres from Bengaluru, where anyone can reside, cultivate organic food, and pursue arts and crafts.
It all started when Arora broke the Limca Book of Records and the India Book of Records in 2016 by driving the 700-kilometer Golden Triangle — which connects Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur — in 69 hours without stopping.

Eco friendly home

He chose to ride across India after being inspired by this. He met rural and tribal groups, learned their customs, and even mastered handicrafts, environmentally friendly home construction, and farming. He began putting his newfound knowledge into practise four years later, when he began construction on the village.
Arora claims to have learned how to make wooden sculptures in Maharashtra and Bengaluru, mud houses in a remote hamlet of Anantapur district and Nagpur, coconut shell cutlery and jewellery in Tamil Nadu, natural farming and forest conservation from various tribal communities, and Kondapalli toys and musical instruments in Andhra Pradesh .

His learning

"I learned to create dwellings out of three different types of mud, using natural binding agents like jaggery, honey, sugarcane fibre, and egg yolk." In Maharashtra, I also stayed with a group of Archaeological Survey of India experts who were restoring an eighth-century temple. He recalls, "There I witnessed urad dal being utilised as a good adhesive."

Following his success on Instagram, he is frequently called to speak and has met a number of celebrities, including cricketers and music directors. The village initiative was launched after a meeting with Sreedevi Balasubramanian and her husband Colonel L Balasubramanian from Bengaluru. The Balasubramanians, who had invited him to their Koramangala home in 2019, went on to help set up Innisfree Farm, which was named after WB Yeats' poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."

Mud houses , Vegetables and Traditional Arts

"We have two mud houses, two wooden and thatched houses, two dry toilets, one mud sofa, and two mega-sized ponds for rainwater harvesting at the farm," Arora says, adding that they use recycled wooden, coconut, and mud vessels and reuse 100 percent of their waste to power eco-toilets, kitchens, and even provide fodder for animals.

They also have fruit trees such as mango, tamarind, and jackfruit, as well as vegetables such as spinach, tomato, green chilli, and okra. Volunteers who want to learn more are encouraged to come, although Arora emphasises that this is not a homestay.

Traditional arts like as Madhubani, Gond, Pichwai, and wall paintings are also taught. In fact, Arora just taught a group of single mothers in Belagavi how to produce handicrafts, allowing them to support themselves.

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