Sitting with a calm demeanour, amidst the rhythmic melody of chirping birds and steady burble of running water in his palatial home, Ashwani Khurana always gets excited when the issue of environment comes up for discussion. And, it’s quite natural. For someone who has planted more than 2.5 lakh trees in his lifetime, it’s the harmony of life with nature that accounts for all the happiness and excitement. But it is more than just a momentary exhilaration. This congruence with nature is something that has been nurtured and fostered by him over several decades and has gradually become his guiding philosophy of life in all its myriad spheres.
Khurana believes that planting trees has been his karma. His passion for planting trees began quite early in life. As a young man in early twenties, way back in 1980s, he had a life-changing experience of interacting with Nek Chand Jain, the famous creator of Rock Garden in Chandigarh, which turned out to be a life changing incident for him. “It was an overwhelming experience and soon Nek Chand ji became my mentor and guide,” he shared ecstatically. A young businessman, in 1987, he took a vow to plant one lakh trees, which he eventually did during the next one decade and decided to commit his life to the harmony of humans and nature. “Seeing trees grow was immensely elating for me, as one would feel seeing their child grow. This bliss was inexplicable and I became an ardent nature lover. I lived by the self-guiding principle that greening, like charity, begins at home; but it shouldn’t end there,” he added.
His beautifully landscaped and eco-friendly home has been a testing ground for several of his experiments. Be it practising rain water harvesting, vermi-composting, organic agriculture, recycling of human and animal waste and much more. These have not been limited to his home only but to the entire neighbourhood. “Earlier, a lot of people used to burn dry leaves, we asked them to send all the waste material to us. We have been organising earth sense collecting kitchen waste as well as e-waste from the neighbourhood and re-using it. The e-waste is sent to an organisation for responsible recycling,” informed Khurana.
Khurana’s life has no dearth of exciting turns and twists, from being known as the lottery king of India and the highest individual tax payer in 1987 in the whole country, to the creator of India’s greenest golf resort, he has been on a mission always. Loving and caring the environment is a philosophy that he has nurtured and implemented both in his personal and professional spheres and thus was born India’s greenest golf resort – Karma Lakelands. “In 1989 land banking was done with deep passion to only grow lots and lots of trees. And now, I can proudly say that we have been successful in planting and nurturing over 2,00,000 trees and plants since then. Eventually the time and tide has taken a certain course! And here we are Today, evolved as one of its kind eco-friendly luxury Golf Resort. So, I started afforestation activities in my neighborhood, the golf course and other areas. This acted like a fuel to fire; the desire to see greenery of trees became insatiable in me and today, I take pride in the fact that I did achieve that goal and now have planted and nurtured over 200,000 plants and trees at Karma Lakelands,”.
“I firmly believe that ‘Responsible Living’ is the motto to live by for a sustainable future. I wish to work in an association with similar like-minded individuals and families. At the same time, I wish to expand the kind of services available to our customers. Keeping these two ideas in mind, I want to develop Karma Lakelands in an eco-friendly manner. Thus, we have recently added Klub Karma and Grand Ball Room for our clients. Our luxury resort is the ultimate destination for top notch events and lavish weddings. But at the heart of all this is the concern for nature,” Khurana shared.