A voluntary warden of migratory birds in Uttar Pradesh

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By Kamna Mathur

Lucknow, Feb.12 : Setting a unique example of care for birds, a man in Uttar Pradesh has been deploying many armed guards for past one decade to protect migratory birds that arrive at his piece of land which has a pond surrounded by trees.

For Bholanath Singh of Uttar Pradesh's Shahjanpur, the arrival of hundreds of these migratory birds involves a major responsibility to protect them from locals.

Every year this pond named "Manasarovar" turns a temporary home for these winged beauties, especially during winters. But no one dares to hunt birds here due to the presence of a dozen security guards armed with rifles who keep on patrolling round the clock around this pond.

At times the 55-year-old Bholanath Singh oversees the security arrangement himself.

"Similar to people from different lands visiting our country being our guests, these foreign birds are our guests and it is our duty to provide them with the best comforts suited to these winged creatures," said Bholanath Singh, owner of Mansarovar, Shahajhanpur.

"Once or twice, some people came here for bird hunting, I confronted them. I warned them of dire consequences," said Singh.

During winters, one can find a variety of birds from Siberia, Europe, China and the Far East nestling here.

Moreover, many tourists visit this place to enjoy watching migratory birds.

"The specialty of this place is that different kinds of migratory birds visit it. I never saw beautiful birds that too of different colours. My husband told me about this place. I have really liked it," said Shobhna, a woman tourist.

Bholanath says he doesn't mind people visiting the place. All he wants is that the birds should not be disturbed. The visitors are allowed to watch at the birds and offer them the birds feed.

"We provide these birds with food and security, I have hired gunmen. Our office is also nearby. Nobody can dare to harm these little creatures. These birds come here daily and remain here till 8'o clock in the evening, then go return to their nests. Again they are back at 5 'o clock the next morning," Bholanath added.

"I had been hearing about Bholanath, taking care of this place. It is really famous. People from far away places come to visit it, for picnic as well as to see these birds. That is why even I have come here. I am enjoying this here," said Ajay Shahi, another tourist.

The Game Wardens and Rangers of the numerous sanctuaries elsewhere in the country could take a leaf out of Bholanath Singh's selfless dedication and not be just content of having secure jobs in the Government.

ANI

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