Tapping the Youth power For Bird conservation-The Chadhei Club of Sambalpur

The ChadheiClub.Email: chadheclubsbp@gmail.com

Chadhei club, a group of birders envisioned the idea of conservation of bird species,under the leadership of Sri Surendramohan Pradhan.He was a school teacher and a great birder and photographer.

In the early 2010,the Chadhei club was formed and members were not so active baring some.Some species were recorded and activity in conservation were being taken up.The idea of involving maximum from the public was thus thought upon ,so as to impregnate into the minds of the youth,the message of birds and environmental conservation.

Then came the pandemic of 2019 and much of the otdoor activities could not be carried out.Then the idea to involve the youth in online platform was thought upon.Fortunately, Dr Biswamohan Jena, a greatly admired teacher among the youth and among NSS volunteers in particular came forward.His love for Bird species and environment brought him closer to the ChadheiClub after his interaction with the members during the inaugural function of the Logo of ChadheiClub.Chadhei club logo was inagurated on the World Environment day,5 th Jun 2021.

An online interaction with around 60 youth was palnned on 9 th Jun2021.President of ChadheiClub Sri Ashis Pradhan and Secretary Sri Prasant Pradhan interacted with the volunteers over the zoom platform.The idea was to create interest among the youth about different species and their names and how to report on e-birding platform.

During an online interaction

The response was awsome and a hope created in all of us to involve more such youths, in this mission.

Previously we have lost some of the species due to, not much awareness among the youth.Presently the youth is informed ,tech savy and filled with abundance of energy.The energy needs to be channalised for a better cause.Creating intrest to identify and record the local birds will serve the purpose of conservation of their habitat and thus the environment.Once the energy is channalised into the fantastic world of birding, much of the work is already done for environmental conservation.

The loss of much of the population of ground nesting birds is due to the forest fire apart from other reasons as well.The forest fire not only destroy the trees but also variety of rare species of fauna.Another instance of destruction of ground nests near Hirakud is the unrestricted movement of humans in the nesting area.The nests and eggs are being destroyed unknowingly.One such example is the nests of Little Pratincole and Oriental pratincole. Oriental Pratincole migrates from shores of Australia to this place.The Little Pratincole is a native bird.Both nests on the ground.

Oriental Pratincole
Little pratincole on the nest
Little pratincole

Bringing awareness among the youth will help us saving the forest fire and the environment degradation.

With this aim in mind The ChadheiClub Sambalpur will involve more and more youth in its mission.More like Dr Jena are needed in this mission.

(ChadheiClub can be reached with its e-mail: chadheiclubsbp@gmail.com.Chadhei means Bird in odia language)

Chadhei Club – Birders of Sambalpur and the Birdman.

Sambalpur and the adjoining area has always been a bird’s paradise. Thanks to the green environment with a plethora of flora and the huge waterbody of Hirakud reservoir. Although some industrial units have come up since the last couple of years with their complementary polluting outputs contributing to the destruction of birds’ habitats, there are many breeding and feeding habitats still left for the birds to survive. Though some species are less visible now a days, no particular species has depleted to the extent of extinction. In such a situation,a group of individuals vowed to revive the birders club – Chadhei Club Sambalpur.

The Club was initially founded by Late Sri Surendra Mohan Pradhan in early 2010. Also fondly known among the birders of Sambalpur as the “Birdman of Odisha”, he made a wide range of documents on birds and their habitats. An avid birder and a school teacher, he spent a major part of his life documenting the birds. Spending on costly equipment for birding from own’s pocket was not easy. Since no sponsors were available in those days, he devised his own equipments to collect data or to take snaps of birds. Before his demise, he was able to gather many important documents on birds apart from authoring a book on the nestings of birds. The book was jointly authored by his only son Sri Ashis Pradhan and another Sri Nayar. The book was widely appreciated among bird lovers after being published by the Government of Odisha.

The Birdman of Odisha, Surendra Agyan(Sir) was not only a birder but also a great motivator towards bird conservation. He was able to motivate many poachers to stop poaching and join for the cause of conservation. As narrated by Ashish Pradhan, once during their birding on the banks of river Mahanadi, they noticed a group of teens searching for eggs laid by birds. They were regularly collecting the eggs for food and therefore were a source of information about the nesting sites. Surendra Agyan immediately offered the teens an alternate. He motivated them to refrain from harming the nests and stop collecting eggs. Instead he would offer them eggs purchased from the market.The teens were happy enough and became his friends for lifetime. Later on, the teens became a major source of information about nests and were actively associated against poaching.

After his demise, the club he had envisioned stopped its activities due to the lack of motivation. Efforts to register the club as a society were foiled by a lack of followups and red tapism. Interestingly, once even the official who had come for verification of the club address, didn’t get convinced and insisted on showing the birds. He misunderstood the club as some thing to be a zoo. However, the club was finally registered.

The members of the Chadhei Club again started gathering in remote areas in the outskirts of the town in search of birds. The vigour was slowly returning back with new members joining the club. Regular visits to different sites and creating awareness in the society, the members were tirelessly putting in their efforts to take the Club to a new height. And then, the pandemic of Covid-19 struck upon them. Site visits of the club were again hampered. But the doors were not yet closed.

One of the most important events was pending since long – the launching of a Logo for the club. A logo was finalised by the club which was decided to be inaugurated in a grand manner.A young creative artist Ms Sriya Sibadarshini designed the logo for the club. Struggling against lockdowns and pandemics, the club finally inaugurated the logo. Although a physical gathering was not possible but all members and guests joined on a virtual platform to inaugurate the Logo online.

And finally, on the 5th of Jun, 2021, on the occasion of World Environment day, the logo of Chadhei club was inagurated to the public eye. It was also posted on the social media of Chadhei Club. Chadhei Club with the new logo can now be followed on Koo, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Logo
Inagurating the logo on zoom platform

The aim of the club has not changed from what it was envisioned as by the founder and Birdman of Odisha Sri Surendra Agyan. He had left behind him a team of dedicated bird lovers, who in this inaugural function again repeated their vows towards conservation of birds and their habitats.

(The club can be contacted by mail to: chadheiclubsbp@gmail.com. The club can be followed on Twitter, Koo, Insta and Fb)

Tapping the Youth power For Bird conservation-The Chadhei Club of Sambalpur

Parichaya Group-Giving a new identity to the mentally challenged.

Sambalpur is a place of many organisations working for social cause. Just a phone call away in case of requirement of blood or for rescue of a destitude or arranging the last rites of an unclaimed deadbody. Utsarga, Limserian, Swaichha, Sambal and many more….give a call and some Dada or Kaka will reach for your rescue. One such group is Parichaya. Located in Hirakud area, they do not have a permanent office but work over phone to reach in the time of need. Parichaya – meaning ‘identity’- the group of dedicated samaritans known specially for rescue of mentally challenged people from the road or arranging shelter for old age people left on the streets.Before writing this I came across one young friend who is associated with Parichaya, Sri Abhinash Mishra and he narrated to me a story of success.The satisfaction in him while narrating the story was even more inspiring for me, enough to write a blog on Parichaya – Bringing back the identity of a mentally challenged person.

In 2018, one Sri Debashis,was roaming around in Maneswar area of Sambalpur when members of Parichaya came to know about him. The condition of this mentally challenged person can be imagined from the photo here.

before the rescue

The team members rescued him and gave him a bath and foods before arranging to send him for Gandhi Niwas, Bhubaneswar.

Thanks to the Gandhi Niwas as well for treating him well,before sending him back home in 2019.

After recovering.

Suddenly, one fineday, Sri Abhinas got an unknown call. As usual Abhinas responded….”Hello. Dada, I am Debashis speaking from…how are you ?Can you recognise me?”. Abhinash responded…”No dear”….Abhinash had already forgotten about the incident and was expecting some one in need of blood or so, for which is the call might be . Then Debashis asked ..”do you remember the man you had rescued from Maneswar?”; “Yes….yes…yes….your name I am forgetting but I could remember you”…Abhinash responded. “How are you and where? Any help required?”. Debashish replied “I am completely ok Dada(brother) and had returned home.Presently working in a cycle repair shop, Dada.”

The conversation was going on for sometime and the feeling of satisfaction that Abhinas was experiencing during that time was …..only Abhinash can feel. It is beyond my words to narrate. The next part of conversation was even more satisfying and inspiring. Members of Parichaya had given him the identity which Debashish had lost. From a mentally challenged to a Samaritan Debashis, he had now transformed with a new Parichaya(identity) to him.

When Abhinash enquired the reason of calling, Debashis responded…”Actually Dada ,one mentally challenged person is roaming in my area and I thought you could help him…and thus I called you.”The goosebumps in Abhinash can only be be experienced and no words can narrate it.

(Parichaya can be contacted on the mobile of Sri Bipin Bihari Panda,President Parichaya.Mobile no +919438030524 or Abhinash Mishra, Secretary Mobile no 7790037300.Members of Parichaya has so far rescued approximately 250 mentally challenged and 150 old age homeless individuals before sending them to old age homes or rehabilitation centers.Some are still in old age homes or rehabs and many have returned home after treatment. )

(Note: Name of the mentally challenged individual is changed for privacy concerns. Debashis is not his original name.)

Covid care by Samaritans-Thanx Juhar Foundation,Mumbai

…..after arranging oxygen cylinders through Oxygen Banks at different locations of West Odisha,now the Covid care shelter with oxygen concentrators, the Juhar Foundation of Juhar Parivar Mumbai has set an example for other such groups.

It was during the first wave of Covid-19 crisis.Many of the migrants were stranded in different parts of the country, waiting for some miracle to happen for their turn to return home.Migrants from all over the Odisha to Maharastra were running from pillar to post in Mumbai and adjoining areas seeking help for their return to different parts of Odisha.Then the Juhar Parivar ,Mumbai envisioned the idea and executed a herculene task of arranging their return.The Juhar Paribar,a socio-cultural organization consisting of people from western Odisha who are working or settled in Mumbai.Members of the group arranged buses to send the panicked migrant labourers who had lost their job or source of income and desparet to return home to Berhampur,Baleswar,Cuttack,Sambalpur,Khariar,Bolangir , Bhawanipatna and so on to all parts of Odisha.Juhar Paribar of Mumbai ensured that more than 5000 migrants from all the parts of Odisha Standard in Mumbai return to their loved ones safely.Also food for 40 days was arranged for them.The task was not easy.Initially buses were arranged and then help from railways, it was ensured that all were safely sent to their homes.After the first wave of pandemic ,some of the migrants stayed back and some returned back to their work places in Mumbai.But the help by Juhar Parivar could proved that in the time of crisis ,the cast,creed, religion and regional disparities fade away in front of the glow of humanity.The greetings of Juhar(greetings in Sambalpuri),Namaskar,Salam…..has only one meaning which is safety and well being of humans.Only one goal health for all.Here I remember a military way of greetings in paltoons of Assam rifles…..Tagde Raho (तगड़े रहे).. stay fit. Any one of the Assam Rifle meets a fellow soldier of an officer, he greets with “Tagde Raho” or Stay fit.

And then the even dangerous second wave of pandemic slowly gripped the whole of the country and Odisha though lately but completely came under the avoidable grip of the dreaded pandemic.Hospitals, clinics,creamation grounds slowly become insufficient.Patients have no option but to stay in home isolation.Supply chain of Oxygen to the critical patients fell short.Availabilty of oxygen was not an issue in Odisha,being a oxygen surplus state with many of its industrial units were diverted to produce the Medical grade oxygen and even supplying to other parts of the country.The issue was to deliver the oxygen in portable cylinders.Cylinders were not available with the growing numbers of patients and thanks to some greedy profit makers in the time of crisis and some panicked citizens hording the cylinders.

Again the Juhar Paribar Mumbai,swung into action.Pradeep Babu,Pratyush Babu,Deepak Babu,Sameer Babu and others of the Juhar Parivar envisioned the idea of support for oxygen delivery.Donors too come forward and it was decided to arrange oxygen cylinders directly from factories and send them to areas where the social groups of the locality can set up Oxygen Banks.At a number of places like Sambalpur,Khariar,Rourkela,Sundergarh etc were set up with these banks under the supervision and support of local volunteers.Free oxygen were made available at just a phone call,to the needy critical patients on home quarentine.

Oxy Bank at Sambalpur

But the pandemic was at its peak and havoc was all around. Beds to crtical patients was needed to be raised.And Juhar Foundation of Juahar Parivar did not hesitate to declare it’s pledge for support.

Beds with oxygen concentrator was planned to be set up at Trilochan Netralaya Jamadarpali center.Just at the outskirt of Sambalpur, the center was selected for setting up with 15 beds initially(to be raised to 50 later) and with oxygen concentrator for each bed under the supervision of two doctors and medical staff, would offer free Covid care facilities.Donors came forward with small and big amounts.Like the first wave when migrants were sent to all parts of Odisha,the present idea of Covid shelter can be extended to all parts where it is needed,with the support of local groups. The idea was lauded by all and Chief Minister of the state mentioned in a tweet…

The center was offered for public in the presence of volunteers and officials.It has an unique tag line which will prove to be a trend setter for rest of the Covid centers and it’s “Mita-Maharsad”.In local language ..friend or buddy or mentor who has his contact number pasted near the bed of patient.Each bed has one separate Mita-Maharsad who will call the patient and vice versa with the idea to give moral support to the patient.

The Covid shelter
The Mita-Maharsad
Oxygen concentrator

Now It’s the turn of administration to join hands with the Samaritans .It is a step to augment the efforts of government in tackling the pandemic. Any such inclusions of public will lessen the load on government machinery and also load on the crumbling health system day by day.A signature of approval from the CDMO office can help offer the facility to public.15 patints can be administered with oxygen and some life can be saved.We may loose a precious life for a single hour of delay.Its about 48 hours since the set up being inaugurated.

Participative approch from Samaritans and readynes to include the public by officials can solve many petty issues and pandemic can be faught jointly.

(I strongly believe in participative management.No a problem is big enough if red tapes and egos are set aside. My personal views .Finally the center was given approval and now functinal)

74 yrs back …when Covid19 Forced me to Jungles.

A true story that had happened 74 years back in 2020-21. A man in jungle narrates a horrifying story to the King.

Sometime in the year 2095, The King came to know about a jungle from satelite images. He was surprised to see the people moving about their everyday routines inside the jungles without any masks or oxygen cylinders. So were the scientists and media curious to find. The sharp images from the satellites generated curiousity among the intelligentsia. Pictures obtained from drones and robots dropped from such drones confirmed the news. The King immediately called on a zoom meeting and ordered his ministers to arrange a visit to this jungle. Unaware about the ways of the jungles, a team of ministers started with studying the old digitalized documents about trees, jungles, wild animals and the ancient humans of the era when using masks, PPE kits, carrying Oxygen cylinders or solar powered oxygen concentrators on the back were not normal. They found it strange yet interesting to learn about these people.The digitalised documents were found from archive of 2018.

A plan was scheduled for the following week. All preparations started in full swing. Logistics were arranged. Laser guided guns, AI robots, Solar powered oxygen concentrators and cylinders were packed. Sufficient number of PPE kits and masks for hourly changeovers, and single seater helicopters ensuring social distancing were called for.

As the team reached the jungles, sanitization of the area was done. Just before taking it into custody, one strange looking man was found roaming around happily with no PPE kits or oxygen cylinders on his back. The team members had never been outside of their home since birth neither the King had ever.Seeing the world outside and such humans without maaks, was really astonishing for the team.The brain mapping of the strange people of jungle were made with scanners and after through study it was ascertained that they were not harmful and the gene matched with the team members.It was a mater of sigh for all knowing that the man in jungle has all similarity with us.Then the interview of these junglee man was started.The man narrates……the language was not understandable and so the brain was mapped to know what he wanted to tell….It was 15th August 2095 and the man wanted to tell…

……….76 years back, My fore father reached here.They say…in year 2020-21 a strange pandemic Called Covid-19 had engulfed the whole country.People were dying all over.Oxygen was not available.The King said ,oxygen is in short supply.Vaccines to fight is in short.All problem was due to some Jawahar who had ruined the country in the past.My father asked the King,but that is why we made you the King.Can you promise us a better life? The King replied, if everything goes well in our country,then China would have an evil eye on us.So I don’t want to do it fast.We will develope slowly.First, all temples,Masjids,Churches will be developed where God will reside, who will pull all of us out from the misery.Then Oxygen plants,Medicine plants would be developed.Dont worry we have all chucked out.A detailed plan is finalised by NITI ayog. Then,my fore father questioned the King, if at this juncture you set up plants, when the patients would be made available with oxygen.The questions from my father irritated the King.He ordered his Police to arrest him on charges of disobedience…bla….bla….bla.My father enquired again…I don’t know about the past who had ruined the country…I have chosen you to rectify…and I have all rights to question you.The questions further irritated the King.He called my fore father and ordered him go away into the jungles where there was oxygen.Seeing no way out ,my fore father came here with family into the jungles.Till then we all are here.

The jungles

During a changeover of oxygen cylinder,the King felt that the cylinder is not required.He can breath without a cylinder.He was impressed.ImmidIetely ,the King ordered to plant trees all over the country. The junglee man intervened.He said, O King ,if you plant tree now, it will take years to grow.You need urgent solution.Then the King asked him a question.What should be the solution then?

The man replied.It has been 74 years since 2021 and the pandemic is still persisting.King alone can not fight it.You need participation from the citizens.You have to bring them together.You have to listen the critics.Shunting every one can not be a solution.The citizen is not intrested about the emperors of the past.He is not intrested about King Jawaar-I or Jawaar-II.Now, the present regime should talk to the people, what they want.Make policy which is required by the people, not expect people to follow policy, what the King want.

Before finishing the story, the man became unconscious.The doctor examined and confirmed that the team has already infected the jungle man with Covid-94.

( as the forefather has left into the jungles at the end of 2021 and so he was not knowing that there were time when the pandemic could have been tackled.But greed to stay in power by policians,Lack of involvement of public and failure of policy makers did not felt the dire need of helthcare system .They could not fore see it.Rest of the things were unknown to the man in jungles and they were living happily till 15 Aug 2095 when the first case of Covid-95 registered in the jungle…and then continued.)

Oxygen Bank and Sambal-the Savior

SAMBAL: A group of dedicated humans in Sambalpur, Odisha, India. From cremation of unclaimed dead bodies to arranging blood for a needy patient, they are just a phone call away and the job is done. And now the Oxygen Bank.

Covid pandemic is at it’s peak in this small sleepy town of western Odisha. Beds and oxygen cylinders are falling short. Patients are gasping for oxygen in the hospitals and home isolations. And the reason is not the lack of availability of oxygen. Odisha, in fact is an oxygen surplus state providing oxygen to states all over the country. The problem is rather the shortage of oxygen cylinders. And when this was realised, ideas came into the minds of the members of Sambal. Small numbers of cylinders were arranged and a bank was created, where patients in home isolation or on the way to hospital were attended to by the dedicated team of Sambal, 24×7.

But, arranging more cylinders was not possible when on the other hand, the number of patients increased days by day. All avenues were explored to get cylinders, but either the cylinders vanished into the Hoarding stores of greedy businessman or in the houses of panicked citizens. Supply of empty cylinders was no where in sight. Funds to purchase the cylinder from far away places of other states was another problem.8

But as the saying goes, “Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way”. Futher if the intentions are good, God send someone for the rescue.

Juhar Paribar of Mumbai is another group of people from the western part of Odisha, some settled and some working in Mumbai away from their home towns. Definitely the emotions for their place of origin never fades. Learning about these problems, the group spins into action. Meetings followed by fund raising and SOS to Paschim Odisha Paribar(Western Odisha Family) were conducted. Even from friends from abroad, funds were received.

Oxygen cylinders were sent to Sambalpur and Sambal Oxygen Bank was filled with cylinders.The idea did not get confined to Sambalpur. Similar banks were opened in Bolangir, Bargarh, Jharsuguda, Rourkela, Kalahandi with the help of social work organisations.Oxygen cylinders were purchased directly from factories and sent to required places by the Juhar Foundation Mumbai. Patients were supplied with oxygen by the dedicated team of volunteers round the clock.

But the pandemic is at it’s peak. Any numbers of cylinders are not able to fulfill the ever increasing demand. Even the funds to purchase cylinders are getting exhausted.

In such a time, a donation from an unexpected corner was inspiring for others and sure more will follow. Photophilics, a group of amateur photographers decided to come forward.An instant meeting by its members were called and 1 lac rupees were collected for donation to the Juhar Foundation to supply cylinders for Sambal.

Members donating cylinders to Sambal Group.
Cylinders arranged by Juhar FoundationMumbai.
Contact No for emergency

More such banks are in pipeline. Rairakhol, Atthmalik, Sonepur, Baudh, Sundergarh are in plans for such initiatives. Juhar Foundation members are working out plans to reach out and help the needy.

Volunteers of Sambal, the saviors are working tirelessly to meet the growing demand from the growing number of patients.

But funds to meet this demand is not easy to garner. The clubs, social groups and volunteers needs to donate and strengthen the helping hands of Juhar Paribar and Samabal or any other such groups associated with.

In the entire episode, the hands that were seen in ଜୁହାର (Juhar – salute) ମୁଦ୍ରା (Mudra – gesture) before elections are no where to be seen. The men called leaders have been hibernating in their luxury. Funds that should come voluntarily from these hands are missing. And the common man has to undertake numerous ଜୁହାରs (Juhars) and ମୁଣ୍ଡିଆs (Mundias) – to go around begging for help – for his bare survival in this Covid inflicted world.

Juhar (salute) to the Pashcim Odisha Mumbai Paribar and the only Sambala(resource) now to fight the crisis – The volunteers of Sambal group, Sambalpur.

(you can be a part of this social cause.Come forward to help in this crusial time. Write your comment to reach the Juhar foundation or Sambal group)

If the Cow could Tweet-@mrscow.

In India Twitter handle has proven to be the most sought-after mode to lodge a grievance and in many occasions the grievances were addressed too if tagged to CMO/PMO etc.Thanks to the recent government for encouraging the social media way of asking help.The railways happens to be the most prompt in reaching out to the needy.

Now coming to a recent incident, where,unfortunately the complainant was not having a Twitter handle, the illiterate cow.

On the last Sunday, my wife received a call from one Rajendra Satnami, a true social worker, arranging free education facility to the needy children of slum area.For him there is no Sunday or Holiday.He is not paid by any employer.After listening to various call from my wife, to probable helping hands and medicos, I came to know that a pregnant cow was lying on the road with a half delivered calf.Unable to deliver the calf the mother cow had been in pains and in the need of urgent medical help.Mr Rajendra had tried to call some others, including the veterinary department.All have reached to the spot, except the Vet.

Neither the Vet not the ambulance reached for the rescue as it was a Sunday…..Another fault of the cow who has chosen the Sunday to deliver. Ignorance is Crime!!!

Finally Mr Rajendra decided to call the local shepherd(gwala) who again was not having a Twitter handle.The Gwala could understand the importance of Sunday with his several previous experiences when his calls were ignored like Rajendra’s.After all, it is Sunday and without a Twitter handle to tag the Vet department along with CMO, neither the ambulance nor the Director would move.It is beyond their call of duty.They are paid professionals , not the Saviours. Sunday is a Holiday. Sunday must be a No work -No pay day, I guess for the Vet department.

But the team of Gwala and Rajendra could deliver the dead calf and saved the mother cow which is recovering now.But again, the basic question…Is Twitter handle mandatory? Should Vet doctor respond on Sundays? Great question.After all doctor are said to be saviors!!!!

(But important Lessons for the cattle folk…..1)Postpone your delivery schedule to Other day except Sunday.2)All Cows must have a Twitter handle)

Fially, Thank you Doctors of Vet department for enlightening us about the importance of Sunday.

More Bhagidari-Less Netagiri.

It is always a pleasure to find a problem solved.Particularly the problems where a Government agency is at delivery end and public is at receiving end.It is often considered as a herculean task to bring the Government Babu to deliver.But , I personally see in a different angle.Government Babu is not always reluctant to deliver. There are different reasons for the blame game. Like..scarce resource….interfernce from political masters…attitude of the Babu and more importantly the lack of understanding between the Babu and public.

Running to the Neta is not the solution.Your problem is not in the priority list of Neta.And more importantly your problem is an opportunity for the Neta to serve you and our Neta are very eager to serve the public.Neta always prefer that his public should always have one or more nagging problem so that he/she keep on getting opportunity to serve the public.

In one such case of Bhagidari or modern-day management study or participative management which I experienced, worth mentioning here.The water supply by PHED to the locality was very poor and lot of mistrust was brewing up in the public.As usual blaming the Goverment Babu and ignoring the own mistake of wastage of water….A request to Neta….let us gherao the office…and many other ideas to solve the issue were muted……But one important point i.e public-babu participation to solve the issue, was missing.

A formal request and several telephone calls could not solve the issue.Neither he is available at office not reach to the site .The public was furious and Babu was not in a mood to have a discussion with public.May be he was fearing a gherao…but I am sure he was not insensative to the issue.He was trying hard to solve.

One fine day after four days of regular phone calls…I too was losing the hope when I decided to call him to the site.Altough he did not garner enough courage to reach, but sent his staffs.The staffs were taken to site and not only the problems but the solutions also were discussed. No hallabol…no netagiri..only pure talk to find a solution.A participative management…Bhagidari or whatever you say…..finally after two hours of deliberation, we reached to a solution. Supply was now normal.

Happy to see the problem ended and sorry that we could not give any of the Netas, the opportunity to serve.

During the course of discussion with the Babu over phone , I and some others expressed our desire to get some water for bath , if possible we could reach to his house, I disclosed. The wheel of participative management started revolving faster then.It was not a veiled threat, but another way of polite request for water.

Problems will be there till the society exist.Solution has to be found out by mutual trust , participation and patience from both the ends…the public and the Babus.

Searching my Ram whom I voted as Ram.

VIP numberplate

Couple of days back I was listening Dr Kumar Biswas on Yutube, a programme “ApneApne Ram”.Ram, whom we worship as God, like whom we all wish to be, like whom we wish all others to be, including the Raja whom I choose in my constitutional assembly, the constitutional authorities and so on.

In the night before Rajposhi next morning, Bhagwan Ram was called by his father to meet him.Ram unknown about the future like the candidates unknown about the result awaiting inside the EVM, reached to his father sitting in a dark room.Difference was ofcourse that he was not having iota of worry about the result, as usual with his ever smiling face reached to his father.His father disclosed that the Rajposhi is cancelled and he should be ready to go to the jungles for 14 years.

Unlike an official, succumbed to depression after getting his transfer order to jungles or a neta defeated in election,he instead rushed to his mother and told that father has made him the king of jungles…पिता देहि मोहि कानन राजू.He is Ram..the message of positivity.The narration by Dr Kumar Biswas was even more inspiring to made me listen to the Ram Katha again and again.

The otherday, in the evening I was driving my scooter in my small town.Sometimes the Ram Katha, sometimes my ego getting hurt by the superbiker who just overtook me( ईर्ष्या), then again the fear of traffic police(भय), even though I had my mask and valid Driving licence etc with me….again Dr Kumar Biswas delivering Ram Katha….flashing simultaneously in one head.Ten things, sometimes to be like Ram and sometimes negativitity, I wondered…am I Ravan.Unknowingly,I was swinging between positivity and negativity..never sticking to the teachings from Ram.But expecting the other to be a Ram.

I was just thinking to cleanse my mind of all negativity and when, suddenly a rich man’s expensive car overtook me through the narrow opening between me and a cyclist on my right.Irritatingly my eyes went straight to the number plate.But the numbers were small enough in comparison to the red plate over the numberplate, MLA##### written on it, in golden letters.This happens in our part of India.We when loose,normally resort to vandalism and when win ,we distance ourselves from the very people who had made us to win.We put special number plates, Red lights and sometimes black screens on the glasses of the spooky cars, just to distance ourselves from the populace, who suddenly become lesser beings. The very people who had made him Ram or Raja, were considered a security threat necessitating heavy police arrangements, priority traffic ways.

Irritation and hatreadness had creeped into my mind about the occupant of this spooky car, which I can never own in my lifetime.How can he, who is elected by me as Ram,can overtook me so dangerously………….The ego and anger in me was overtaking the Ram Katha by Dr Biswas.

Again the Katha….when Ram went to Dandakaranya forest.He never asked for any special security, any special help from his maternal uncles who were reigning the Kosalas, nearby Dandakaranya.He was in his foots, no expensive chariots, no special security arrangements, no special traffic to stop general public.People on the way joined him in the fight against negativity.The smile of positivity in his glowing face, the resolve to serve the people of his new Rajya, the forest.The resolve to liberate his people from demons on the way, did not necessitated him to ask for special cars or special Red lights or special number plates or special security from the very people for whom he was providing security.He was there among the people, always.No tinted glass between him and his people.

But am I Ram? I asked myself. The anger and ego, yet to subside.Sometime Ram and sometime Ravan flashing in my single head.

Not sure who is Ram and who is Ravan.Is it him or I.But one thing is sure…he is one among us.He has reached there from us only.To see him as Ram, I have to be like Ram.

For him to be Ram, he has to open the tinted glass, remove the special tag, walk alongside the public.Shun the pseudo fame!!!

Chadhei Club and Bird conservation.

Birds are beautiful creations of God as we human beings. They have equal rights on this planet as we humans have. However, knowingly or unknowingly we sometimes poach them, destroy their habitats leading to dwindling numbers of species and sometimes to the extent of extinction. And thus the need for awareness and conservation of birds is felt. There are bird lovers around the world who work for this cause of conservation and awarness drive.Whatever small effort may it be, but is laudable.One such group of people is the “CHADHEI CLUB” of Sambalpur, Odisha, India.A group of bird enthusiasts have come together under the banner of Chadhei Club, a registered club, who go to different villages around Sambalpur and create awareness drive for conservation of birds and their habitats.Photographer by hobby, and with different professional backgrounds these birders move out to people on Sunday and other holidays to spread the message of compassion for birds.To save the birds and their habitats. Chadhei means Bird in the local language and thus the name of the Club, the “CHADHEI CLUB”….. Hanging camera and binoculars on their shoulder, water bottle in one hand, on weekends they slips into the forests of adjoining area, in search of birds and noting down the names and counts Sometimes to a local villages to create awareness.

Purple heron
Small praticole
Crested lark
Paradise flycatcher
Common kingfisher
Tufted ducks

One such successful story of awareness…..the man who changed his means of livelihood for the sake of birds.

His name is Bhakta, a man in his 60s. Presently staying near Durgapali, Sambalpur in a thatched house.A poor man but with a rich heart for birds.Once upon a time he was selling Parrots, Quails and other birds.Used to capture them from the jungles and sell them in the town to earn his livelihood.His only source of income .Once the members of Chadhei Club came to know about him and reached to him for counseling. He was being shown photos of different birds, their habitats, the usefulness of birds around us. He was told about our motto and requested him to join us. By that time he was so fascinated about the birds, that he declared his resolve to quit his profession….then what you will do…how you will earn your livelihood, the members exclaimed. He was firm on his decision. The members then left with the hope and promise to help him if required, for any other profession if he choose.

……one year later, the birders of Chadhei club again reached to the man.The scene was unchanged.Same thatched house, same man with grey hair sitting inside with the days catch of fish from the nearby river Mahanadi, as a source of livelihood.No sight of captured birds, no cages to keep the captured birds.A big smile on his face seeing the members and welcoming with folded hands, a sight, enough to bring tears of happiness in the eyes of Chadhei club members.We succeeded in our effort.But what about his livelihood.He disclosed that he has shifted to fishing.His son now is working a small part-time job in the municipality.More satisfying was his concern for the destruction of habitat nearby which earlier used to be a breeding ground of Scallybreasted Munia.He promptly took us for a round to the nearby area and started complaining about the damage done.With the promise to take up his concerns and offer to come forward for any help in future, the members returned.

Bhakta- the birdman.

Bhakta, the Birdman is our hope to succeed in our effort for conservation.

More and more such people will join.There are many such stories and will try to write some other day.

For Chadhei Club..keep doing the best…..keeping the saying in mind.

मैं अकेला ही चला था जानिब-ए-मंज़िल मगर

लोग साथ आते गए और कारवाँ बनता गया

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