Home Animal For 12 Years, Chandigarh Man Has Run a Distinctive ‘Fowl Ambulance on Wheels’

For 12 Years, Chandigarh Man Has Run a Distinctive ‘Fowl Ambulance on Wheels’

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For 12 Years, Chandigarh Man Has Run a Distinctive ‘Fowl Ambulance on Wheels’

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On one darkish evening in 2011, a sweeper was cleansing the streets close to the military attachment camp in Punjab’s Ferozepur metropolis. 

Manjit Singh, a former drawing trainer, had introduced 50 kids together with a non-profit organisation from Chandigarh to the camp to point out them how the Indian Military features. On stepping out for dinner, he seen one thing unusual amongst all of the waste that the sweeper had collected. 

Going a bit of nearer to the bin, he realised that it was a lifeless pigeon!

“I requested the sweeper why she was throwing the physique in a dustbin. I even inquired the way it died. She knowledgeable me that the hen received electrocuted. Equally, one other had died close by too,” he tells The Higher India.

For the subsequent 4 days on the camp, the 54-year-old couldn’t neglect the incident. He contemplated on discovering an answer that will be useful for each the birds, and people.

Manjit converted his bicycle into a ‘bird ambulance’.
Manjit transformed his bicycle right into a ‘hen ambulance’ to deal with sick and injured birds.

Coming again dwelling to Chandigarh, the environmental activist set out on a mission to provide a secure burial to lifeless birds and deal with the injured. “Often, these lifeless birds are transported to larger dustbins in a depressing situation. Additionally, there are probabilities that their decaying our bodies might unfold illnesses and threaten human and environmental well being alike,” he provides.

Moved deeply by this incident, Manjit transformed his bicycle right into a ‘hen ambulance’. With this, he has handled 1,160 birds thus far. He even ensures that birds who die are given a correct burial, totalling to 1,280 avians like pigeons, crows, parrots, and turtle doves in Chandigarh.

Refused Financial institution Job for Setting

A BA dropout, Manjit initially labored as a drawing trainer in a non-public college. By way of the college, he got here in touch with the identical native NGO that motivated him to do social work. Then, to do his bit to cut back the rising air air pollution, Manjit switched to using a bicycle in 1990 on the age of 21.

In 1999, after his marriage, Manjit give up his job on the college to dedicate himself totally to the atmosphere. As a aspect hustle, he labored as a painter, however his in-laws have been involved. They, nonetheless, managed to get him a job supply as a financial institution clerk.

“The job supplied me triple the revenue from what I used to be incomes. However I needed to refuse it. I didn’t need to get trapped in a daily job in a company world the place I must compromise on my mission,” he says.

To do his bit to reduce the rising air pollution, Manjit switched to riding a bicycle in 1990 and later dedicated himself to saving birds.
To do his bit to cut back the rising air air pollution, Manjit switched to using a bicycle in 1990 and later devoted himself to saving birds.

He recounts how his choice would usually result in arguments between him and his spouse as she additionally nervous about his well being attributable to fixed publicity to possible avian illnesses. “However when she noticed how really devoted I used to be to my trigger and the way a lot social acceptance I acquired with it, she ultimately got here on board,” says Manjit.

Manjit, who’s also called Prince Mehra, continued to unfold consciousness about air air pollution until 2011 earlier than his go to to the Ferozepur military camp. 

After coming again to Chandigarh, he printed out some pamphlets requesting residents of Chandigarh to contact him in the event that they spot an injured or lifeless hen.

By then, he had remodeled his bicycle right into a hen ambulance. “Quickly after, individuals began contacting me and reporting the lifeless or injured birds of their localities. I used to be so blissful to see individuals approaching me. And after I was in a position to free an injured pigeon and deal with it for the primary time, I used to be so happy,” he says.

Together with a way of contentment, Manjit began getting recognition for his work. In 2015, his title was additionally listed within the Limca Guide of Data for saving hundreds of birds in Chandigarh. The identical yr, he was additionally awarded by the Chandigarh authorities on the event of Republic Day. 

What’s extra, even the locals began referring to him because the ‘hen man’!

“On this work, I get job satisfaction in addition to recognition. I’m really very content material with it. My kids take delight in my work when their faculties invite me as a chief visitor, and when their friends recognize my work circulated within the media,” he provides.

Manjit was awarded by the Chandigarh government on the occasion of Republic Day. 
Manjit was awarded by the Chandigarh authorities on the event of Republic Day. 

‘Seva over enterprise’

In 2016, Manjit was supplied a job as an animal attendant by the animal husbandry division of Chandigarh. “I discovered this job very helpful as I used to be in a position to serve my trigger and in addition earn some revenue,” he says.

As a part of his every day schedule, no matter workplace hours, he units out on a rescue mission between 3-11 pm. 

“Native individuals name to tell me about injured or lifeless birds. Often, these harmless birds get wounded by sharp kite strings or from followers in outlets. In summer season, exhausted birds fall from the sky or collide with high-tension wires,” he informs.

Inside 15-Half-hour, relying on the space he can cowl on his bicycle, Manjit rescues these birds. He carries all the required tools and medicines together with him. This features a small spade, Negasunt powder (an antibacterial used for dressing wounds), Fowl Plus syrup, and a pair of scissors to free birds from tangled wires.

“If the hen is lifeless, I dig a 1.5 ft gap and bury it in an open floor within the metropolis. If the hen requires stitches or is essential, I take it to the hospital for remedy. If there’s a minor harm, I take them to my home the place I feed them and after they get effectively, I set them free in 2-5 days,” he provides.

Manjit has treated 1,160 birds so far.
Manjit has handled 1,160 birds thus far.

To assist his work, a financial institution donated a battery-operated bike to Manjit in 2012. “They have been giving me a scooter as I journey all through the day. However I refused it as a result of I didn’t need to weaken my mission to cut back air air pollution simply because I used to be getting a free scooter,” he says. 

“The battery-powered bike helps me attain the injured birds quick. If the hen is already lifeless, I then use my regular bicycle to succeed in the place and bury it,” he provides.

Recalling a busy day, Manjit says, “Final yr, a storm hit the town and a number of other bushes fell within the evening. These bushes have been dwelling to quite a few parrots. I acquired a name at 6am to gather 250 lifeless parrots and 80 pigeons. All in sooner or later. The 2 baskets hooked up to my bicycle have been full,” he remembers.

“Just lately, I rescued 5 parrots whose ft have been broken. I stored them on remedy in my home for 2 months earlier than they received higher and will fly off. Presently, I’ve two pigeons and one ghuggi (turtle dove) at my dwelling,” he provides.

For this work, Manjit retains apart 20 % of his wage. “Many individuals have supplied a payment for this work, I request them to as a substitute pay me in variety and supply hen feed like bajra (pearl millet) for the injured birds. If I begin asking cash for it, it received’t be sewa (service), it would develop into a enterprise,” he says.

“Generally lifeless birds are caught to the street, and other people cowl their noses with a fabric, however I’ve to choose them in order that they’re buried safely. Initially, my household opposed my choice attributable to this very motive,” he explains. 

Par woh jeena kya jeena jo apne liye jiyein (There’s no level in life if it’s not devoted to service for others). I take into account these birds like my kids. Their lives are equally essential as anybody else’s. Their lives may be saved with simply small efforts,” he provides, earlier than biking away to save lots of one other harmless life.

Edited by Padmashree Pande. All photos: Manjit Singh.



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