Malkangiri: Odisha’s Rajesh Mandal, who is an M.Tech degree holder from NIT Bhopal, left his lucrative job to follow his passion for wildlife.
MV 79, a village in the remote Malkangiri district of Odisha surrounded by forest and wild animals is where Mandal was born and brought-up. Since his childhood, Mandal developed a strong affinity with the wildlife.
His passion drove him to learn more about the animals and their nature and he spent nights inside the woods to understand their instincts. Snakes, chameleons, wild boars and sambars became his friends.
Bear Grylls’s ‘Man vs. Wild’ television show encouraged Mandal to further pursue his passion. Mandal started his own YouTube channel and gives survival training to wildlife enthusiasts. He has a dream to do advanced research on wildlife and techniques to survive in the wilderness.
“I have immense love for the wildlife since my childhood. I have always wanted to follow my passion. After finishing my education, I choose jungle over job.” Mandal said.
Mandal’s parents were not happy over his decision to leave a white-collar salary and to pursue such unrewarding vocation despite having a degree from a reputed institute like NIT. However with time, their opinion changed after witnessing unflinching dedication of Rajesh.
Rajesh’s father Rabindra Mandal said, “I am happy that my son has earned the sobriquet of ‘Jungle Boy’ within a few years. Everyone in the locality knows about my son and his passion. I feel proud.”
“I had a dream to educate my son. We did our part by inculcating values in him. I love that he cares for the animals who even can’t speak,” said Rajesh’s mother.