Bengaluru: In a story which seems straight out of a movie, a 56-year-old man has been living in his Ambassador car amid dense forests in Karnataka’s Dakshina Kannada district. Similar to the Hollywood flick Cast Away, 56-year-old Chandrashekhar has been living in his ambassador car parked deep inside a forest between the villages of Adtale and Nekkare, near Dakshina Kannada.Also Read - Viral Video: Forest Officers Help Injured Baby Elephant Reunite With Mother, Video Wins Hearts | Watch
His old ambassador car is parked about 3-4kms inside the jungle, resting under a plastic sheet used as a roof, with old Hindi songs playing from the car’s radio. He locks himself up in the car during nights and whenever he feels like resting.
Notably, Chandrashekhar has no desire to come back even as wild snakes always make their way into his car. “Human beings are more poisonous and dangerous than wild animals,” he says.
Until 2003, Chandrashekar lived like any other common man in the Nekral Kemraje village. He owned an areca nut farm of 1.5-acres. However, his life took a turn after Chandrashekar took a short-term loan and two crop loans from Nelluru Kemraje Cooperative Society, News 18 reported. He maintains that he was misled and cheated by people around and as he could not repay the loan, his property from where he earned livelihood got auctioned.
Heartbroken Chandrashekar then went to his sister’s place, but somehow could not stay happy there as differences of opinion cropped up. One day he decided to retreat from the civilized world and drove in his car into the jungle and started off a new life in the wild.
How does he survive?
During Covid times when the villages were shut, he survived by eating wild fruits in the forest. He travels on his bicycle to villages to sell his baskets made of dried creepers in the forest.
Chandrashekar, though looks worn out, is leading a poised, self-sufficient life hoping that one day he will get back his farmland. He has kept all documents related to his farmland intact in the car. Even the district administration noticed his solitary life in the jungle, then-District Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim visited him a couple of years ago. The district administration even got the home built for him. However, Chandrashekar did not find it suitable as it was built inside a rubber forest.
During nights most of the wild animals, including elephants, doe, leopard, wild boars, and bison visit his abode. The officials of the forest department have also let him lead his life in the jungle. “I don’t even cut a small shrub, I don’t meddle with anything wild around me. I take a bath in rivulet that runs close to my place in the forest. I cook rice and listen to Hindi songs on Akashavaani,” Chandrashekar explains.
(With IANS inputs)