Quintet helps birds beat the heat in parts of Kerala

Quintet helps birds beat the heat in parts of Kerala

In May 2022, five people – two medical practitioners, two teachers, and a lawyer – bonded over their shared interest in environmental conservation and social activities.

After carrying out various activities over the past 22 months, the quintet recently took up the task of helping birds quench their thirst during the summer. The group, which founded Smile Foundation Kerala, an Alappuzha-based NGO, with the help of volunteers, has placed bird water feeders at 100 places in Alappuzha, Kollam and Pathanamthitta districts in recent weeks.

Some employees of Smile Kerala Foundation distribute bird feeders. | Image source: special arrangement

The hanging water containers are refilled regularly with the help of educational institutions, nature lovers and others.

“Karuthal Thulikal”

“Feathered friends have a higher body temperature than humans. Birds are exposed to dehydration and other health problems in the summer as they find it difficult to get clean drinking water. This is what prompted us to launch the Karuthal Thullikal initiative.” “We aim to ensure clean water To as many birds as possible and help them survive in the scorching summer heat,” says G. Hashim, Chairman, Smile Foundation Kerala. Mr. Hashim, a forest department official, is currently working as a teacher after taking leave from government service.

The group first placed clay pots filled with water at various places in Noranad in Alappuzha, known as ‘Bakshi Gramam’ (Bird Village). Later, they placed the pots in other places and distributed them free of charge to schools, government offices, etc.

One of the schools that has joined hands with the Foundation to quench the thirst of birds is Vayanakam Vocational Higher Secondary School (VHSS), Oachira in Kollam. Water containers hanging from tree branches in the school compound are filled by students.

“It has been two weeks since the water bowls were put up. A good number of birds are drinking water from it. Once the school closes for summer vacation, the workers will fill the bowls,” says R. Prasanna Kumar, director of Vayanakam VHSS.

Donations are not accepted

The Foundation does not accept donations and carries out various activities using funds raised from within the group.

L says. “Besides environmental activities, we have been implementing education and healthcare programmes, among others, in the last two years,” said Sajkumar, joint secretary of the foundation, who is also a teacher and member of the Palamil grama panchayat ward.

Other activities of the group include free distribution of saplings to schools and the general public, study materials for students from poor economic backgrounds, anti-drug drives and blood donation. Recently, protests and awareness programs were organized against soil extraction through hill leveling at Mattapally in Palamil.

Other employees of the corporation are Annie A. (secretary), A. Alfin (Treasurer), and Savitha (Vice President).

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