Max Chandra is not a common name and neither is he an ordinary man. Born in Germany to an Indian mother and a German father, Chandra lived most of his life in the UK. He didn’t get a chance to come to India until much later in his life in 2005, arriving as the CEO of a company from the West.
Chandra’s mother was born in Bangalore where they had their ancestral house. As a professional in London, Chandra led a very comfortable life for more than 15 years which he could have continued but he couldn’t get over the spell that India had cast on him. On his return to London after his first visit, Chandra resigned and planned to settle in India. He made Goa his home and stayed there for a few years. “But I always had a feeling that I had to do more,” says Chandra over a phone call with me after a hard day’s walk on his route to Delhi. It was this walk that Chandra wanted to do, his true calling from his heritage in India.
Chandra decided to walk across the length and breadth of India — 20,000 kms in three years to understand the country and his heritage better. He also set up a charitable foundation, ‘One Step at a Time Charitable Foundation’, to bring awareness and raise funds to undertake projects that will uplift people from poverty in India. “I’m not trying to bring attention to myself, the walk is solely to bring more awareness about the issues crippling the nation today. I want the Foundation to help make a change, to be a part of the coming change and do as much good as is possible,” says Chandra. He started the first leg of his walk from Goa and walked to Chennai, 1,875 kms, via Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu which he completed in 70 days.