Roshna Chandran is one of the nominees for The Restore Awards® that recognise and provide a platform to make mental health mainstream and those connected with it are celebrated on a global stage. Roshna is the Founder of Under The Mahua Tree, an essential eco friendly retail store, determined to supply and create awareness on the importance of switching to eco friendly products. The Unhurry® team interviewed her, excerpts below:
What inspired you to begin your journey?
It’s been almost two years since the inception of Under The Mahua Tree. I wish I had done this earlier. The idea popped into my mind while I was working as a manager at a chain of adventure resorts located in remote islands and forest areas that claimed to be sustainable; but to my utter disappointment were in fact the biggest plastic polluters and exploiters. It was quite a traumatic experience, as I came face to face with corruption, violence, sexual as well as mental abusers. The environment was so toxic! I fell ill as I fought everyday and realised that it was time I took charge of how I wanted to live my life. I decided to close the door on all toxicity and to give myself a fresh start with something I was passionate about, my Ikigai, you could say, and that was how I rolled out my sketches for Under The Mahua Tree.
Of course, we will not be able to completely eliminate plastic from our daily lives right away, but it is something we can do little by little.
My first choice was to ditch the plastic toothbrush. It’s not a major change in lifestyle, but we just need to consciously choose products that are eco friendly in order to make a huge difference.
What were the difficulties you faced on your way?
- To convince people that products that are made in India are also of superior quality.
- Some eco friendly products seem highly priced but people need to understand that it lasts longer.
- Bigger Supermarkets and shopping malls don’t want to stock up on eco friendly products because of the price factor.
Could you mention 5 ways in which you are impacting or giving out to the community.
- Reducing carbon footprint,
- Promoting eco warriors and their unique brands from all over India,
- Creating awareness on wildlife conservation,
- Bringing like minded people together,
- Promoting a healthier lifestyle.
Today when you look back, is there anything you would have done differently
I used to work round the clock; I wish I had spent more time with Mother Nature instead. I wish I didn’t listen to other’s advice and just follow my heart.
What is the message you would like to give to people out there who want to walk in your shoes in impacting the health of others?
My message: ‘Remove toxic people from your life. If you find yourself constantly walking into the wrong environment, you are not stuck.
Focus on what you want and then you will find the right people. Very important to surround yourself with people who support your dreams. This will pave your journey.’
Mental health to you is…
Mental health is a neglected topic. Once we understand how we can rewire our mind to focus then we can face challenges head on. There were times when I struggled to just get myself out of bed. I sought help through counselling and realised that self controlled meditation and a healthy lifestyle can do wonders to one’s life.
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