Source: Amar Ujala (28-Feb-2019)
Harsukh Bhai Dobariya from Junagadh district of Gujarat was awarded with Srishti Samman award for bird conservation by President Pranab Mukherjee this year.Harsukh Bhai has been taking care of these birds for the past 17 years. It all started with just one cob of pearl millet that he had hung on his balcony. In 2000, Harsukh Bhai met with an accident because of which he had a fracture in his leg. While he was resting at his home, one of his friends got some pearl millet from his farm. Harshukh Bhai hung one of these cobs on his balcony, which soon attracted a parrot. In the coming days Harsukh Bhai was overjoyed to see the numbers increasing.As the number started increasing, there was not enough space to feed the birds, so Harsukh Bhai got some old pipes, drilled holes in them and made a stand out of them. He fixes the pearl millet cobs on this stand and the birds feed on it comfortably.The family changes the cobs on the stand twice a day to let the birds feed on it.They feel the birds enjoy feeding on such stands as they feed on them all day.Initially, the family lived in a house in the middle of the city, which had a small balcony. As the number of birds increased, in 2012 Harsukh Bhai decided to shift to his own house built in the outskirts of the city.
Every year, his house plays host to more than 1,000 sparrows who then have young ones here.He ensures that the hatchlings are safe and protects them from animals until they are ready to fly. Especially during the monsoon season, the doors of his house are open to all kinds of birds that shelter from the rains. Harsukhbhai also commissions the farming of a kind of gourd (tumdi), which he uses for making nests for the sparrows. He guides people farming this gourd and also distributes seeds free of cost to interested farmers.Apart from being an ardent bird lover, Harsukh Bhai also loves to experiment with new types of crops and plants in his backyard.He has also curated a plant whose leaves tastes just like garlic and is very good for health. He was awarded the Krishi Ratna by the Gujarat government for this.
(Text Source:The better india )