Former Managing Director for Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria, polo player, horse lover, an advocate of natural living, yoga practitioner, Tango dancer, surfer. There are many more superlatives for Shiju Sasidharan, a man who is finding his love for paddy farming and natural living in the woods of Punalur, Kerala.
Shiju has undertaken the farming project in the 5 acres of land he owns with his brother, Shibu Sasidharan. He has replaced the rubber plantations that existed before with paddy fields adhering to their motto of “back to the roots”.
“The whole place used to be paddy fields once upon a time,” he says.
They also have an organic farm stay in the woods of Karavoor in Punalur itself where elephant herds visit frequently. Shiju also practises the concept of water-fasting for weeks, with the natural mineral water from his farmland and promotes natural living.
The horse lover in Shiju is determined to teach horsemanship to the budding generation. He has already started riding lessons for kids in Punalur, on his horse Rani that he brought from Rajasthan.
Shiju, along with a friend, runs a non-profit horse rehabilitation project in Nigeria for the sick and neglected horses called ‘For the Love of Horses’. The project rehabilitated over 50 horses in and around the country and presently houses around 25 horses.
His mission here is not just to teach the younger generation horse riding, but also the importance of horsemanship and convey the message of loving and treating animals more humanely.