Meet the real life Pakshirajan from Benaras.
Meet the real life Pakshirajan from Benaras. | Photography: Thelogicalindian

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Meet the real life Pakshirajan from Benaras.

May 29, 2019

Planet earth belongs to a huge diversity of life. But it looks like the human population, growing at an alarming rate, has forgotten that the world belongs to every other creature and not just to the humans. In India, tigers, elephants and vultures are on the verge of extinction as humans have encroached their habitats.

Little sparrow, one of the most familiar birds to mankind has witnessed an alarming drop in its population as well. The sparrows, which kept perching on the rails of the windows are not found nowadays. The birds are remarked as the "Natural bio-indicator of environmental health" and a drastic reduction in their number would mean that our ecosystem is at risk.

The end of the 10000 year-long relationships of human beings with the birds is drawing to a close. 

Sardar Inderpal Batra, with his impulse for eco-friendly living, has created a natural habitat for sparrows with planted trees and mud pots.
Sardar Inderpal Batra, with his impulse for eco-friendly living, has created a natural habitat for sparrows with planted trees and mud pots.

Where have they gone?

There is a plethora of reasons behind this environmental disturbance with human greed being the biggest trigger. The baby birds feed on the insects and their larvae in agricultural lands. Land and air pollution have disturbed the lifecycle of such insects, which in turn created trouble in the food supply for the birds.

The high rise buildings and malls that characterize a modern and elite urban life have wiped the chances for the little creatures to make nests and survive. Today, women no longer sit outdoors cleaning the grains which were a source of food for the birds. People have become intolerant towards all the other creatures and do not entertain birds living in the vicinity.

Human arrogance is slowly taking over the planet, vanquishing all the other creatures.

While most of the human beings are being indifferent to the smaller forms of life, a family living in the city of Benaras, Uttar Pradesh has hosted thousands of birds in their humble home.

Sardar Inderpal Batra, with his impulse for eco-friendly living, has created a natural habitat for sparrows with planted trees and mud pots.

When did this love for nature begin?

Batra had developed a love for nature since childhood. But one instance kindled the idea of creating a space for the little abandoned birds. 16 years ago, Batra had witnessed a tree being cut to build a house. The tree bore nests of many birds and when it was gone, all the inhabitants became homeless. For him, it was an unruly encroachment of the bird's space by the humans.

It was then, he decided to rebuild the bird habitat. Today, his home in Benaras is an abode for hundreds of birds.

His daughter Amrita is no less than her father in expressing her love for nature and birds. She takes care of their bird guests with utmost care and concern.
His daughter Amrita is no less than her father in expressing her love for nature and birds. She takes care of their bird guests with utmost care and concern.

The natural sparrow space

He started by planting bougainvillaea and shami. Once they grew, he arranged mud pots with clothes and straw and placed them inside the nest. For birds, the arrangement seemed like nests. Within a short span of time, the trees were teeming with the little winged creatures.

"There are 20 nests for sparrows inside my home, and I have made around 200 nests outside the home as a natural habitat for these sparrows,” exclaims Indrapal Batra, the proud owner of his eco-friendly house.

Batra's home, with his cute guests, has become a place of interest for many people. Those living in his neighbourhood flock every morning to watch the birds feeding on grains, listen to them chirping and have fun amidst nature.

Not just the people living in Benaras, many families from other places come to visit Batra's house. They even carry biscuits and grains to feed the birds.

The family effort

It is not just Inderpal Batra who is behind this mission. His entire family enjoys sharing space with the birds. His daughter Amrita is no less than her father in expressing her love for nature and birds. She takes care of their bird guests with utmost care and concern. When the family is out, they appoint trusted workers to feed the birds.

It is high time for man to realize that he has to maintain a harmonic balance with the other creatures. Nature is there to favour man's need and not his greed.