Birds are rarely seen in the city, even in the city, Ajkal village-house. The reason for this is obvious – we have forgotten to give these birds their nest in the middle of big buildings. But on the other hand there are some people who are trying to bring back those birds. These people have launched a campaign to bring back the birds not only in their homes but in the entire area. Today we are going to introduce you to one such person from Karnataka.
This story is of Nityananda Shetty and his wife, Ramya, residents of Elianadugodu village in Dakshina Kannada district. The couple has started their campaign under the name ‘Gobbachi Godu’ which means ‘Bird’s Nest’. Under which he goes to school-college, different organizations and makes people aware about the decreasing number of birds. Along with this, they also distribute nests and clay bowls for the birds to live, eat and drink and bathe in. Today, due to his constant efforts, once again the clamor of many types of birds has started being heard in his area.
Talking to The Better India, he said, “We are just running a campaign at our level. This is not an organization or a trust in which we work with funding from others. Rather, both of us husband and wife also invest some part of our agricultural earnings in this work. We had started this campaign from our own homes and farms. Now not only in our taluka, but also in some states like Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, we are getting an opportunity to spread our message.”
Two acres of land dedicated to birds
Nityanand, who has a Masters in Economics and Ramya, who has an M.Com degree, are farmers by profession. He told that he comes from a farmer family and instead of a job, he has made farming a profession, so that he can stay connected to his roots. On their land, Nityananda and Ramya cultivate crops like coconut, betel nut, pepper. Apart from this, they are also planting seasonal vegetables and some fruit trees like mango-jackfruit.
Nityananda says, “I had always seen my mother keeping food and water for the birds in the courtyard as a child. There were many birds’ nests in our house too. But over time the number of birds started decreasing. There are many reasons for this. But more than the reasons, we focused on the solution, how to bring the birds back around us.”
The only answer was that there should be a conducive environment for the birds. For this Nityananda and his family left their two acres of land only for the birds. On this land, he has planted trees and plants of many fruits and vegetables so that the birds can get food. Also, by putting up a small hut, he has also installed several earthen bowls for water so that the birds can quench their thirst in the summer season and also take a bath. Along with this, Nityananda and Ramya have also arranged a nest for them.
He said, “There are many birds that cannot build their own nest. Earlier in the villages, there were many such places in the houses, where these birds used to make their place so that they could lay their eggs. But now no one wanted the birds’ nests to be in their homes. Nowadays electric wires are also there in all the houses and sometimes birds also die due to current due to open wires. That’s why we thought that we should make a place for their nests not only in the house but also in the surrounding places, in our fields also. Especially in the summer time, birds need nests, feed and water.
93 types of birds come in their fields
Nityananda and Ramya tell that before no bird came, crow was seen everywhere. But now we humans have also removed the crows from ourselves. While crows are very helpful to the human species. “In cities or even in villages, people now forget to keep food and water for the birds. But this was not the case in our childhood. If any bird was seen injured, it was immediately helped. Due to this, goodwill was maintained between humans and animals. We want to once again instill this goodwill and compassion for the birds in the minds of the coming generations.”
The husband and wife, who have so far conducted free seminars in 205 schools of the taluka, also build nests for the birds themselves. He has distributed more than 2000 clay bowls and different types of nests to people in his area. If someone calls them once for a nest or a bowl, they immediately deliver both the things to them. This couple does not take financial help for this work. Apart from this, if any bird is found injured they are treated. On the other hand, if a bird dies, it is buried in the soil.
He says that like humans, these voiceless creatures also have full right to respect. Perhaps it is the dedication of this couple that today about 93 types of birds visit their farms. Nityananda says that during the lockdown last year, he noticed which birds come to him. Different species of birds visit their fields at different times. Some lay their eggs in the nest and some come to quench their thirst. These birds include crow, great cormorant, owl, kingfisher, crane, pigeon, bulbul, wild fowl, peacock, sunbird, myna, gray junglefowl, cuckoo, spotted munia, parrot, woodpecker, pigeon, Indian pond heron etc.
“We do not say that our farm is a birdhouse, where you will find birds all the time. But it can be said that if you spend time here, then your morning will start with the chirping of birds. Nowadays, even small children have their mornings with mobile or car-bike horn. But in our fields you can hear the sound of different types of birds. In front of their clamor, now we ourselves find the noise of vehicles or anything else very strange,” he said.
In the end, the only message this couple gives to everyone is to arrange food and water for the birds in their homes. Then you will hear the chirping of birds in the house too. Of course, Nityananda and Ramya are inspirations for all of us today, who are living a better and happier life by working for the environment.
Editing – G N Jha
Cover Photo: Nityanand Shetty
Also read: Even in the busyness of the job, the ceiling was made of 300+ trees and plants, birds chirping all the time
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