There was a time when Amrish Patel’s luxurious house in Ahmedabad generated electricity bills amounting to Rs 25,000 (for two months). Today, he pays zero bills. Instead, he is credited Rs 2,000-Rs 3,000 every year from the state’s electricity supply board.
This is because Amrish decided to make the most of natural resources. He installed a solar-powered panel that can power eight air conditioners and 20 fans.
He also harnesses the sun’s energy for water purification which replaces Reverse Osmosis (RO) purifiers. Municipal water supplied through pipes is collected and placed under the sun throughout the day to “kill bacteria”. Later, the water is used for drinking as well as cooking.
It’s been four years since Amrish built his dream house in Ahmedabad.
The US-return businessman led a busy life. He was engaged in promoting a diet system that included natural food only. But after retirement, he decided to return to his home country.
Though, Amrish has always been a fan of a sustainable lifestyle. For the past 10 years, he has been staying away from using plastic. “Carrying a cloth bag while shopping is a simple yet effective way of starting a sustainable lifestyle. The amount of single-use plastic can be drastically reduced through this simple act,” he suggests.
His house and surroundings are filled with plants and trees. There are over 260 plants that his 80-year-old mother enjoys taking care of. “She is healthy and can manage things even at this age. I believe it’s because of the lifestyle she has been following all this while,” says Amrish.
The former businessman also lives with his wife and two children. “Since our children are living separately, it’s only the three of us in this house.” He adds proudly, “But all of us try to lead sustainable lives. It might seem strenuous to some, but once we began on this journey there was no looking back.”
The 56-year-old opines that no matter if we live in a city or village, sustainable changes can be made from anywhere. “It is beneficial not only for the environment but for our health too.”
Amrish believes that every household should install a solar plant. “I know it is not affordable for everyone. But it would be great if the government could provide short-term loans and/or subsidies to people who show interest in a sustainable life. That’s the best way for promoting this natural energy source,” he concludes.
Read this story in Hindi here.
(Edited by Yoshita Rao)