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Rimpocha’s Darjeeling Renaissance

Rimpocha's Darjeeling Renaissance

Swaraj Kumar Banerjee popularly known as Rajah Banerjee whilst on holiday at his ancestral tea estates in Darjeeling from his graduate studies in England fell off his thoroughbred whilst riding in the plantation. This minor fall by equestrian standards was a major one for his psyche, as an instant out of body experience enabled him to receive a simple mantra from the botanical world to save them. He has been a tree planter from that instant – planting over 5 million indigenous trees in the estate in 47 years.

In due course of time- it created an unique 6 tiered permacultural organism- where the tea occupied only a third of the estates lands.

All tea estates were managed along colonial hierarchical management styles. This served the British colonists admirably, as any dissent was dealt severely with draconian measures. The Brits have left our shores 75 years ago- however most proprietors whether Indian or the few Brits left still cling on to this archaic system.

Rajah Banerjee initiated holistic reforms by empowering the women in his ancestral estates by providing cows and biogas units. The woods were no longer threatened for fuel, as the gas released by slurrying cow dung was trapped in a hod . A simple connection from the hod to the cooking stove furnished all the cooking and heating needs for the household from a non-polluting renewable source.

Coupled with an unique afforestation scheme that offered a sizable cash incentive for planting indigenous saplings of 27 local varieties evinced complete participation and phenomenal results.

The success of this led Rajah Banerjee  to be an organic  and fairtrade  pioneer to global tea and Biodynamics to tropical agriculture.

Visitors from far and near arrived in a dribble at first-which in turn led the estate having over a hundred thousand footfalls annually.

The constant query for overnight accomodation sparked the notion of creating homestays, whereby visitors could stay as a guest with one of the villagers family. This resulted in paving the way for tea tourism-whereby the tea plucking women augmented their incomes handsomely away from the tea.

Queries from prestigious global  universities to accommodate  gap year internships  , long term researchers on sustainability and ethics  and short term student groups tours snowballed homestays to a movement . There are more than over three thousand homestays promoted by the district and state government currently in the Darjeeling region. Which has mitigated unemployment and empowered women.

  His outreach tree planting initiatives have established core group areas that has converted all the tea growing regions of Darjeeling, an entire neighbouring state of Sikkim and the hills of Ilam in a neighbouring country Nepal to go organic. Women are the soul of this movement.

Rimpocha was launched on 18th July 2018. Rimpoche is a reincarnated avatar in Tibetan Buddhism. Rimpocha is a reincarnated tea avatar.  Rimpocha is a compendium of holistic wisdom garnered over half a century of living through violent and turbulent political  turpitude. The holistic sustainable practices that made Rajah Banerjee’s ancestral tea gardens a working window of agenda 21, with stakeholder participation, women’s empowerment  and social uplift with sustainable synergies is to extend it to all the villages of the sub-continent with the tenets incorporated in the Rimpocha arch.

The working philosophy in the arch are as follows

The overriding credo is — healthy soil is healthy mankind

Its easier said than done. The ground reality for attaining it is by five simple steps. All miracles are in reality simple solutions. Following these simple solutions the miraculous frequencies of peace and harmony are manifest to usher in an era of peace, prosperity and radiance- as all human issues are that of harmony.

Humanity is on the verge of destroying itself as the populist clarion call is to win against nature, forgetting the truth that the creature that wins against the environment destroys itself.

Step 1. Returning to permacultural agricultural practices that recreates and enhances the humus to that of virgin soil

Step 2. Enlivening and supplementing all harvested nutrients with biodynamic cow manure

Step3. Women bend their back the hardest anywhere in the world and are always relegated to 2nd class citizenry. The more marginalised the society the greater their exploitation.

Empower marginalised sub-continental rural women ( 500 million ) by providing a biogas unit- . The smell in the dung is the smell of the gas methane. On slurrying the gas separates to be trapped in a hod. A connection to the stove provides a renewable source of energy on tap. Downstream slurry provides organic manure ensuring organic food security- that enables super community health and the surplus sale of organic milk, fruits, vegetable and cereals  locally that puts cash in the women’s pockets.

Step 4. Marginalised women make the most fantastic investment when they have surplus cash jangling in their pocket. The best education that creates awareness and builds capacity. This in turn creates a gen next self-respecting grassroots entrepreneurial leader.

Step 5. Use of technology – social media to promote village tourism and online sales.

Rimpocha has already mentored five forgotten hamlets in Darjeeling’s hinterland to attain the goals to serve as an inspirational beacon for the 674,000 villages of India to emulate.

Rimpocha ‘s objective is to make India the organic food bowl of the world . Simultaneously  utilise the time tested traditional healing   with   a combination of Ayurveda, yoga and detoxification treatments in the  Darjeeling Himalayan centres to return to the tenets that creates a win win for all.. A  holistic win win below the soil by permacultural mulch that creates hospitable conditions for microorganisms to multiply, on the ground by holy cow fertilisation plan that enlivens the farmlands to put living food in the table. That in turn ushers in a harmonious society by adopting time tested wellness -yoga and Ayurveda  aided by modern  technology to thrive in a global village.

Rimpocha envisages India to set the pattern for alternative rural living lifestyles that will be a forerunner for all other countries to replicate and follow.

Humanity would thus emerge to be a rhythm of nature. Learn to be a creator away from being the monster that lives for short term gains and long term destruction.

 Rajah Banerjee leading the holistic renaissance charge of Darjeeling .

MS, University of Tartu Sleep specialist Using the acquired academic and professional experience, I advise patients with various complaints about mental health - depressed mood, nervousness, lack of energy and interest, sleep disorders, panic attacks, obsessive thoughts and anxieties, difficulty concentrating, and stress. In my free time, I love to paint and go on long walks on the beach. One of my latest obsessions is sudoku – a wonderful activity to calm an unease mind.

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