Our Story of coming together to build Habitat Foundation
Circa 2010, Pushpal and I had just started interacting more at work. Unlike the first two years at Denave, when we rarely got to interact or talk much. But last few months of the year 2010, every tea break at a tea stall in Okhla, New Delhi, was between Pushpal and me.
I had no fixed dwelling, a kind of urban nomad who had migrated from Jamshedpur to Chandigarh to Indore to Mumbai and then to Delhi. He loved Kolkata more than Delhi and was looking at the first opportunity to be back there. By the way, I am in Chandigarh since December 2016.
In 2012 it was early June when Pushpal asked me to join him for the trip to Ranthambore National Park. I agreed since I had not been to a jungle and had never before seen a tiger in the open. Post the first trip, we visited Ranthambore a couple of times every summer till 2014, when Pushpal moved back to Kolkata. He was happy, and our interaction since then was like once a year or so.
He posted his trips to other tiger reserves on Facebook and especially to Sunderbans Tiger Reserve. I, in the interim, took up adventure trips to the Himalayas in the North. While we both bought our first DSLR together, our genre/preference for photography turns out to be different. Pushpal loves wildlife photography. I felt more comfortable defining myself as a Street photographer (hobbyist).
Starting our own business - to be independent and have our way of making this happen - was never given due attention except over beer sessions.
I got an opportunity to work with Pushpal again in 2020. And, it did not take more than one super-charged talk to incorporate Habitat Foundation. We did not take the NGO or a Society route but forming a Not-for-profit company since we prefer, believe, and known transparency and integrity.