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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Gurugramwale: Taking to the skies again

A bird hospital, that shall soon turn 10, treats the injured for free.

gurgaon Updated: Jul 17, 2019 15:43 IST
Mayank Austen Soofi
Mayank Austen Soofi
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
The Charity Bird Hospital in Gurugram’s Jacobpura,  set up by the city’s Jain community, will turn a decade old in September.
The Charity Bird Hospital in Gurugram’s Jacobpura, set up by the city’s Jain community, will turn a decade old in September.(HT Photo )
         

The air is filled with sounds of birds. Those of us familiar enough with the countryside to identify a bird from its chirping can easily make out the sparrows from the crows, as well as the doves, the parrots, but may be not bajri—a bird native to Australia.

This isn’t a forest. It is the general ward of the Charity Bird Hospital in Gurugram’s Jacobpura.

“As the only bird hospital in Haryana, people from across the state bring over ill or injured birds to us for treatment,” says Rajkumar Rajput, the hospital assistant. Two specialised veterinarians visit the birds twice a week. No fee is charged for treatment.

This afternoon, Mr Rajput is filling up the cages with the day’s supply of food—a mix of grains such as jawar, bajra, gehu, makka, channe ki dal, and sabut moong.

“But we give kangni dana to the Australian chidiya (bird) and sweet corn and apple to the parrots.”

He explains that the “Australian chidiya” was brought by a man who had acquired her from Australia as his pet.

“The birds suffer from all sorts of problems... chicken pox, heat stroke, diarrhoea and even paralysis.”

The hospital, set up by the city’s Jain community, will turn a decade old in September.

“We have 340 birds at the moment,” says Mr Rajput, adding, “so far, the hospital has treated 6,000 of them.”

The healed birds are eventually released outside. The small ones are freed in Jacobpura itself, while the bigger birds, such as eagles, are taken to the nearby Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary.

A particular pigeon, however, has been in the hospital for 8 long years.

“We can’t release her. She is blind.”

Mr Rajput takes her out of the cage. The snow-white creature flaps her wings vigorously for a few seconds and then goes quiet. There is no knowing if she misses the sky.

First Published: Jul 17, 2019 15:43 IST

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