THE BIRDMAN OF CHENNAI
“The birdman of Chennai” is what the city-dwellers fondly call Mr.Shekar, a camera mechanic by profession and a bird lover by nature. The man lives in modest comforts, feeding thousands of birds, daily.
We currently belong to an era where we tag ourselves “the Millenials” and are either too busy to care or choose not to, about the fellow human beings begging for daily food. How many of us find it unnecessary to feed the dogs on the street. Almost all. Amongst all of us, Mr.Shekar comes as a whiff of hope for the survival of humanity. The man has been feeding thousands of parrots visiting his terrace ever since tsunami struck the city of Chennai in 2005.
Mr.Shekar is a camera mechanic who lives in Royapettah, Chennai. He runs a mechanic shop and earns a little over the needed income to make ends meet. He always had the habit of feeding the squirrels that visited his house, with whatever food was available at his house. That was until December 2005. Towards the end of 2005, the tsunami that struck the city hard and left birds deprived of their natural habitat, and thus, made the winged ones homeless. Watching them homeless and desperate Mr. Shekhar decided to put out some extra grains for the squirrels. However, there were some surprise visitors, a few parrots.
Parrots are generally rare to be found in the city. However, after our bird man started putting grains for the birds, they started flocking the terrace parapets in thousands.
Mr.Shekar was quoted saying, “Even during the months, when the household income is low, I make sure I feed the birds, even if I go a day without food”. He continued by saying, “I feed them twice a day, every day. It is always grains slightly soaked in water”. It has been over a decade since he first started feeding the parrots and the numbers have only multiplied ever since. Other kinds of birds, like a few pigeons and a few sparrows have joined the lot. He had to tie ropes over his terrace to make space for all the birds that flock his terrace every day.
A modest man with an ordinary job and an average income, spending a huge portion of it on feeding birds, comes as a happy hope to people who think humanity is dying. After all, it looks like it isn’t. The Positive India salutes The Bird Man !