Q1: For DV: Using your own time and money and without any expectation, you have worked on goodNewsIndia and now, pointReturn. goodNewsIndia was rendering a great service. Are you you not affected for abandoning that service? Do you have any plans to revive gNI again- perhaps with volunteer help?
A:DV: GoodNewsIndia [gni] has been suspended, not abandoned. When it does resume however, I would focus exclusively on good work related to caring for the earth. I believe pR could not have arisen had I not gone looking for and expecting to find ‘good work’ in abundance; and, discovering there was too little, and their texture not very satisfying; a texture woven of foreign funded NGOs, philanthropic tokenism of Indians and the mealy mouthed ‘corporate social responsibility’. I have written at length on this here:
Q2: For Karpagam and Sriram: I am sure you have thought through everything deeply. Have you been strengthened by a sizable lot of money you may have saved? Was this a major factor?
A: Karpagam and Sriram: The main reason for the shift was disorientation towards life (corporate work, compensation, job satisfaction, exploitation of anything anyone if given a chance, insensitive pace of growth of the city, mad push to buy and consume unnecessary things to fuel useless growth in the name of GDP, race with the rest of the world, total disregard for manual work, use and throw mentality, current generations forgetting the link between the food and the farm etc. – I could go on but think you get the drift). This disorientation originated from our sensitivity towards nature.
We have a couple of friends who moved rural to do dryland agriculture. We got the opportunity to visit them to get a feel of life on the other side. This life made sense to us. So we would not classify our shift as ‘giving up’ comforts and that sounds like a self denial. But we feel that the life in the rural area is more comfortable for us than the city corporate life. We place more importance to clean air, peaceful quiet surroundings, meaningful work as factors of comfort rather than say going to a movie or watching TV. Therefore we have actually moved into a better lifestyle in our point of view. It may not have TV or AC or some other material things but we have everything we “need” for a satisfying life. We will build / accumulate material things at our own pace and requirements.
On the financial front, we do not have any liabilities. We have a rental income as our only input. That is adequate as we have defined it. When we made the shifting decision, we removed the fear of financial insecurity just by the sheer belief that we have the skills and strength to survive a simple life with limited means.
The removal of this fear is what helps in making the shift, not trying to define ‘adequate’.