November 5th, 2016
“Today when I say to people that at 96 years of age I have no disease and don’t have to take a single medicine then people are surprised and aren’t able to believe that, but it’s all because of the blessings I’ve received from those thousands of animals and birds I have treated. My family has always believed in the concept of Jivdaya ( Compassion and Mercy towards all living creatures). They would go out of their way, not only to help a human being but also to help an injured bird or an animal. So as a kid I was always taught to be compassionate towards all the living creatures and it became a part of my upbringing to be kind specifically towards birds and animals because we humans can speak out about our problems but those birds and animals can’t speak, so it’s our duty to understand their language of pain and help them selflessly.
At the age of 16, I got married and came to this city and everything was different here. I saw that in those days there were no NGO’s or social groups who were working towards the welfare of animals and birds. Once an animal or a bird gets injured, there was hardly any option of their treatment. I guess people here lacked compassion towards these silent and speechless creatures. Meanwhile for me Jivdaya always came first and whenever I would find an injured bird or an animal then I would bring them home and give treatment to them and my husband and the whole family was always supportive about it. My place has been a home to all kinds of animals and birds. From dogs to donkeys, rats to squirrels, monkey to porcupine, peacock to vultures and many other species. There’s a place for everyone in this house.
My life’s mission is to take care of animals and birds who are in need of help. There have also been many a times when people would inform me about an injured animal, so within half and hour I would bring that animal to the cozy comforts at my place and treat them with my own hands. After the treatment is over and once the animal or the bird has recovered it is sent back to its owner’s place and in case if we can’t find the owner then I keep them with me for lifetime. There was a time when around 40 animals and birds used to stay together at my house. They would all live peacefully and play together. Cats and dogs would have food from the same plate.
Even today I have one dog, two parrots and one old aged pigeon living with me. This has always been the trend, the number of animals has always been more than the number of family members in the house. Few years back, I was informed by a passer by that a donkey has been injured and it needs help. I’d it moved to my home in the middle of the night. Donkey’s legs had been bound by wire and it was bleeding profusely. Soon treatment started and it was back to normal. During the Kite-flying month of December and January, hundreds of birds are brought to my house for treatment and once recovered I release them. I even provide special facilities for animals. Squirrels nest are usually in the drain pipes, but during monsoon all their nests are flushed out by rain water, so I’ve made a bedroom for them in cupboard where a mattress is also laid out. I do this work because it makes me happy and nothing is more important than helping and serving those creatures.
I have received a lot of appreciation for this work. Many media publication houses has published my stories and have received many reputed awards from big names but I have never done this thing for any fame or an appreciation, it has always been about going out and helping those creatures. All these years I have been doing these activities without accepting any donations and all the expenses have been incurred by me.
I would like to share one beautiful incident, somewhere around 1996, Maneka Gandhi who was Union Minister during those years had visited the city and from somewhere she came to know about the work I have been doing so she called me up and wanted to meet me. Me and my son both went to meet her and she was all in praise for my work in this field and was eager that I should start a first of a kind shelter home for animals in Ahmedabad. She was ready to provide me with all kinds of finance and facilities. But during those years I was getting old and also there were circumstances due to which I had to politely decline that offer. Around a decade later I was called to Delhi to receive an award and chief guest at that Function was Maneka Gandhi. Seeing me on stage she rushed towards me and hugged me and was so happy to see me again. So incidents like these makes me happy about the work I have been doing. Today when I look back at life, I am satisfied with the life I have lived and the work I have done. At 96 years of age I’ve a sound advise for people.
And what’s that?
Try to be as kind as possible towards animals and birds. I’m not requesting you all to do some big things for them, all I’m saying is just be kind towards them. They too are a part of our society and so treat them with love and compassion.”
Story By – Pray Bavishi | Humans Of Amdavad
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