New Delhi: Kite flying, especially on Independence Day, may be a tradition, but it leaves hundreds of birds dead every year. However, now they have some hope as two brothers from Old Delhi have become their saviours.
Nadeem Shehzaad and his NGO 'Wildlife Rescue' have treated over three thousand injured birds in the last eight years. Nadeem blames the use of the maanjha - or the glass-coated string used in kite-flying - for causing deadly injuries to the raptors.
"People use sharp glass-coated thread and most of the injuries happen in the air with the collision with the string," says Nadeem.
He adds, "We saw that nobody wanted to take care of them which was the main reason for us to launch this initiative. People are often scared of them or consider them unlucky."
Birds of prey are feared by many and even the bird hospitals are not able to provide them with proper care because of their special dietary requirements. But a small shelter on Nadeem's terrace currently houses 100 injured raptors. At the shelter, the kites get 10 kg of meat and the vultures get eggs on a daily basis.
"Nearly all hospitals in the area are run by the Jain community. So they are unable to provide them non-vegetarian food. So there was a need for this kind of shelter which can provide the birds with the proper kind of food," says Nadeem.
Nadeem and his brother Saud have converted their shop into an operation theatre. They stitch up the wounds of birds that are critically injured. The entire rescue centre is run by their own funds with no help from anyone.
Almost all the birds that are treated at Nadeem's shelter are able to fly again.
Thanks to the gentle caring by Nadeem and his volunteers, the injured birds of prey are able to make it back to the open skies.