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Organisation in Rajasthan Constructing Beautiful Houses for Birds

These bird houses come in different colours and designs

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Organisation, Rajasthan, Birds
Till date, over 30,000 bird houses have been built by the organisation in just over a year. Pixabay

At a time when the builders across the world are busy building world class houses for humans, an organisation in Rajasthan is constructing beautiful and colourful houses for birds which promise accommodation ranging between one bedroom- hall-kitchen (BHK)-5 BHK for the avians.

The NGO Apna Sansthan, since May 2018, has been caring for birds in search of a roof under the scorching sun and heavy rains. Till date, over 30,000 bird houses have been built by the organisation in just over a year, says Apna Sansthan founder (Jaipur region) Ashok Sharma.

These bird houses come in different colours and designs.

“They are available in four variants — Wooden House, Mud House, Hard Board House and Stable House. The Wooden houses are decorated houses which are also water proof. They are little expensive as its costing and carving takes time and resources,” he said.

Organisation, Rajasthan, Birds
An organisation in Rajasthan is constructing beautiful and colourful houses for birds which promise accommodation ranging between one bedroom- hall-kitchen (BHK)-5 BHK. Pixabay

“The mud houses are mostly in demand in Rajasthan. We order potters to make these coloured houses. Around 10,000 such pots are being supplied across Rajasthan, of which Jaipur’s share remains around 3,000.

“One piece costs around Rs 60 with transport charges, which is quite economic and hence people go with it,” he added.

He next “dreamed” of making bird houses of hardboard.

“However, here I required the help of manufacturers who preferred donating Rs 2 per piece after hearing the noble cause. One piece cost around Rs 6. With their donations, I ordered 20,000 such bird houses where 3,000 were kept for my school, and the rest were distributed elsewhere.”

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Sharma also runs a school here with classes up to the 8th standard.

The next in line were stable houses. One of such rare houses for birds was constructed in Jhunjhunu. There was a 10-floored apartment block created for birds which accommodates 1,100 houses.

“The total expense for building this stable house was Rs 3 lakh. However, people wanted to contribute for a cause for these birds who in summers and during rains search for shelter,” Sharma said.

“Basically, it’s a huge wall which has around 1,100 pockets for birds to rest.”

Organisation, Rajasthan, Birds
The NGO Apna Sansthan, since May 2018, has been caring for birds in search of a roof under the scorching sun and heavy rains. Pixabay

Sharma runs Apna Sansthan with Vinod Melana from Bhilwara who is the secretary of the organisation started in 2016.

The NGO is also engaged in water harvesting, sapling plantation, flora and fauna conservation, among many other activities.

According to the office bearers, it was started taking inspiration from Amritadevi Vishnoi who sacrificed her life along with ther lives of her daughters and 363 other people to save trees in 1730.

Narrating her story, Sharma said: “A party of the then Jodhpur ruler Maharaja Abhay Singh reached her village to fell ‘Khejri’ trees to construct his new palace when Amrita Devi protested against the royal attempt to cut trees as it is prohibited in the Bishnoi religion.

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“She told them that cutting trees was an insult to her faith and she would rather give away her life to save these trees, saying that even if a tree is saved at the cost of one’s head, it’s worth it.

“Thereafter, the axes brought to cut the trees severed her head and of her daughters Asu, Ratni and Bhagu, who had offered their heads too,” he said.

Soon Bishnois fro 83 villages gathered and it was decided that one volunteer would sacrifice his or her life for every green tree to be cut. In this process, many lost their lives and 363 of them become martyrs,” he added.

Apna Sansthan has planted 5 lakh saplings in 7,200 villages in the state and are also celebrating the anniversaries of the plantings.

The bird houses are being distributed in birthday and anniversary parties as return gifts. Besides, new townships are being donated these bird houses.

“We conceived a better implementation of this idea when we attended the Paryawaran Kumbh organised in Varanasi in November 2018. Delegates from 146 nations attended this gathering, while interacting with them gave us the idea of how we can take up the bird houses project,” Sharma said.

At the Sharma-run school here, students and birds play and even eat together during lunchtime, which is somewhat of a rare scene to see.

“This is how we can build a relationship between kids and nature,” he says. (IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi Launches Plan to Tackle Water Shortage in India

Modi Unveils Plan to Tackle Water Shortages in India's Heartland States

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PM Modi
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to the media inside the parliament premises on the first day of the winter session in New Delhi, India. VOA

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a 60-billion-rupee ($842 million) plan to tackle water shortages in the country’s seven heartland states where agriculture is a mainstay.

India, the world’s second-most populous country, faces the worst long-term water crisis in its history as demand outstrips supply, threatening farm output and overall economic growth in Asia’s third-largest economy.

Almost every sector of the $2.6 trillion economy is dependent on water, especially agriculture, which sustains two-thirds of India’s 1.3 billion people.

“Water shortages in the country not only affect individuals and families; the crisis also has an effect on India’s development,” Modi said. “We need to prepare the new India to deal with every single aspect of the crisis.”

The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water and boost overall availability in Rajasthan, Karnataka, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat states, which produce staples such as rice, wheat, sugar and oilseeds.

PM Narendra Modi
The plan launched by Modi would help replenish ground water. Wikimedia Commons

India is the world’s leading producer of an array of farm goods, and nearly 60% of the irrigation for agriculture comes from ground water, mainly through electric water pumps. Subsidised electricity gives farmers an incentive to pump out more water, a key reason behind fast-depleting water tables in the vast country.

Supplying clean drinking water to millions of poor people and reviving moribund irrigation projects were a key part of Modi’s policies for India, where the monsoon accounts for nearly 70% of the annual rains needed to water farms and recharge aquifers and reservoirs.

Nearly half of India’s farmland, without any irrigation cover, depends on annual June-September rains to grow a number of crops.

Drinking water is also an issue, as about 200,000 Indians die every year due to inadequate access to safe water and 600 million face high to extreme water stress, according to the National Institute for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, a think tank chaired by Modi.

According to UK-based charity WaterAid, about 163 million people in India — roughly 12% of the population — do not have access to clean water close to home.

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Every summer water shortages tend to be more acute in large cities such as the capital New Delhi, Chennai — a car-making center dubbed “India’s Detroit”, and Bengaluru, the country’s software capital.

Modi also exhorted farmers to increasingly adopt drip and sprinkler irrigation and use water-management techniques as well as eschewing water-guzzling crops such as rice and sugar cane. (VOA)