INDIA. Patna. Sudip Kumar is an IIM Ahmedabad alumni and a man of great family values. He is also the man behind Aqua City, an innovative project that provides unique facilities along with basic amenities for all age brackets.
Usually, housing projects of this type are static in nature. However, Kumar’s Aqua City is more dynamic. The facilities change when a resident moves from one age bracket to another. Aqua City is the epitome of classy urban living that still retains its own rustic charm.
Early life and inspiration
During childhood, Kumar lived with his family in Jharkhand. His father and grandfather were both government officers. Due to his father´s frequent job transfers, Kumar always kept switching schools. Joining schools in mid-session, he felt like an alien among other students. However, Kumar soon realized that switching schools was actually a blessing in disguise. It helped him adapt to difficult life situations. Changing homes, packing their bags, and meeting new people was actually quite exciting for Kumar as a child.
Growing up, Kumar considered his grandfather his greatest strength and inspiration. Talking to Transcontinental Times he said, “My grandfather is my pillar of strength. I still try to emulate him. Even Mahatama Gandhi is a great inspiration for me. I have learned a lot about his works by reading various books about him. His compassionate nature, his deeds, the way he stood against every situation have been inspiring for me to date. I am trying my best to follow his ideologies.”
The incident that changed his life
Things started to change for Kumar after he transfered to a new college away from his hometown. During this period, an incident happened that changed him for the better.
There came a time where Kumar had to spend an entire month in his college. He wasn’t allowed to meet his family during that time. Like any normal teenager, Kumar would often get angry over small things. Eventually, he got short-tempered.
One day he decided to learn to control his anger and mood swings. It was difficult in the beginning, however, Kumar dealt with and conquered his inner demons successfully. He said, “This was a life-changing experience for me. I had learned to control my emotions during this time. I decided to read books of almost every genre and didn’t have a single soul to talk with. I had lost track of time. To be honest, I intentionally did it and this experience has changed me a lot”.
The motivation behind Aqua City
Because of the time Kumar spent living with his grandparents while young, he witnessed the process of aging and developed an awareness of the needs of senior citizens. After the death of his grandfather, Kumar’s grandmother used to live with house help.
One fateful day, the servant betrayed Kumar’s grandmother. He ran away with all their valuables. This incident had a deep impact on his grandmother. Kumar was so shaken that he decided to live with his parents in their senior years. He was a support system for his parents throughout their lives, but being a parent himself, he understood that his children were not going to live with him forever. This posed a big dilemma in Kumar’s life, so he decided to do something about it.
The birth of Aqua City
Kumar talked with his friends and realized they were facing the same issue. They all decided to be the ultimate support systems for each other in their elder years. This ultimately led to build a place in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.
However, in 2008-2009, Rishikesh lacked many things. There were no airports or medical infrastructure, which is a must for seniors. They then decided to build the project in Patna. This was the genesis of Aqua City. The seeds were sown and the journey of Aqua City began. The project was officially announced and the making of Aqua City begun. The township project is one of a kind in itself. It has many facilities that are rarely seen in India. This includes good health facilities, barrier-free construction, mess hall-style dining, and more.
The impact of COVID-19
When asked about his thoughts on the coronavirus, Kumar said, “COVID-19 has brought a significant change in everyone’s lives. It has changed so many things for me as well. Previously, I was very busy with my work commitments and I couldn’t give any time to my family. But now I can spend some quality time with them. I can even devote more time to myself. It has been a boon in disguise for me.”