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Spare a thought for bird baths

 “Its time to get those bird baths out. ASAP. Those who do not have problems with landlords, I request you to put some water for stray animals too, under shade. Do change water at least once in two days ,” said a short email from Padmavati Dwivedi, a resident of South Delhi’s Sarvodaya Enclave, over the weekend. The message went out to “everybody and anybody” on her mailing list as temperatures continued to soar in the Capital.

 

“People have replied to my email and have said they will do so immediately and will even share photographs of their bird baths,” said Ms. Dwivedi. “I just felt I should send a thought out since it skips people’s mind especially those who have a busy schedule. It is really important since it is scorching hot outside!” Ms. Dwivedi, who is the founder of ‘Compassionate Living’, has actively promoted environmental conservation in her neighbourhood. “Sadly, providing water for stray animals has drastically reduced since the municipal bodies discourage water stagnation as it promotes dengue.

 

But as long as the water is changed often it should not pose any problem,” she said. “While bird baths are kept by people in their balconies, keeping water for strays has come down considerably.” Forty-two-year-old Jyothi Shanker has always looked out for thirsty birds in the summer months. “I go home to Kerala for a month and a half during summer and I feel bad for the birds and squirrels. I tell my maid to check on the water and change it every second day,” said this mother of two. Ms. Shanker’s love for bird baths started when she noticed a lot of birds flocking to her first-floor balcony. Now, her kids too are involved in maintaining it. As long as the bowl is replenished with clean water, the civic body’s dengue checker’s have never objected to her bird baths, she said.

 

 Hindu, Delhi, Tuesday 6th May 2014