Bengaluru: A 56-year-old man from Karnataka was found living in his dilapidated white Ambassador car in the middle of a forest for the last 17 years.
Hearing this, the first question that comes to mind is – why? The man, identified as Chandrashekhar Gowda, was living in solitude in a dense forest away from society. He had been living in a dense forest between the villages of Adtale and Nekkare, near Dakshina Kannada district for a long time.
To reach him, one has to walk about 3-4 kilometers in the forest, after which a small plastic sheet tied with bamboo is seen, where his old ambassador car is also parked. The amazing thing is that the radio of Ambassador in it still works.
According to reports, Chandrashekhar had 1.5 acres of land in Nekral Kemraje village, where he used to grow areca nuts. Everything was going well. But in the year 2003, he took a loan of Rs 40,000 (agriculture loan) from a co-operative bank. After many attempts, he could not repay it. In such a situation, the bank auctioned his farm.
This incident broke Chandrashekhar from inside, which changed his life completely. Chandrashekhar has been living a secluded life inside the car for 17 years. He bathes in the river. Weaving baskets with dry sticks lying around them sell them at a shop in Adtale village, taking rice, sugar and other groceries in return. He also owns a very old cycle that he sometimes uses to get to and from the neighbouring village.
Now his only wish is to get his land back. For this, he has kept all his documents safe.
He listens to Akashvani Mangaluru station on radio and loves old Hindi melodies.
A lean man with strong limbs, a half bald head and no haircut without a shave, two pieces of clothing and a pair of rubber slippers on him, Chandrashekar modified his lifestyle and physique for life in the wild.
17 years later, he was known to the people when Aranthod Gram Panchayat officials visited him to give him the COVID-19 vaccine. After the lockdown, and now that everything has opened up, Chandrashekhar’s life is also returning to its original ways.