Sunil Mantri: Could you please tell something about yourself?
Shailesh Chowatia: Being a religious person, I have always been more sensitive towards mute souls (animals and birds), as a child I was always taught to help Distress souls. And being so close to the Nature, protecting our very own Stray world was my Social responsibility.
SM: What was the reason behind starting Bird Helping NGO?
SC: Initially I started with rescuing injured birds and drop them to various different SANSTHA where they used to treat them and free them later on. With the increase in the number of injured birds I realized there was no proper Infrastructure or Treatment procedures for them. So that’s when I started getting the birds home n learned more of Ayurvedic treatment for them. Today we have our shelter house at Gamdevi with the capacity of 500 and more injured birds at a time. And we have 3 more centers spread in Mumbai for collection of injured birds.
SM: What are the various challenges you face?
SC: With the increase in the number of cases, we face various challenges some of which are Fund Raising for Treatment, getting more Volunteers for help and spreading Awareness.
SM: You have your shelter based in Mumbai. How difficult it is to find a place for such cause?
SC: In a city so busy, people are getting more inhuman towards animals and birds. The major point of Rejection of centers are :
1) Nuisance of sick cats and dogs in the premises especially in the night.
2) Fear of getting infected by the sick animals.
SM: Any specific animal rescue incidence which you can’t forget?
SC: Being such a sensitive person I feel each case is a Special case for me.
But recently we got a case of Hit and Run over the kitten. I immediately rushed the spot and what I saw was heart-breaking for us. The kitten was injured and the mother was standing right next to her weeping in pain seeing the kitten suffer. I took the kitten to the local Vet where I was informed that the best for the kitten was to put him to sleep as he (kitten) had a broken jaw and multiple injuries, which seemed impossible for the Vet to treat. But our 1st and most important principle is – We all are God’s children and only god can decide the time of our Death. We cannot take the call of putting the lil kitten to sleep; we try and reduce his pain but wait for Natural Death. So than we had to do something to reduce his pain, so we took him to another Vet who dint just reduce the pain but also treated the kitten 23 days. Today the kitten is back in the Nature with her mom.
Struggling for each life is important for us, and after so many years of experience we have become more Confident and Strong.
SM: Have you reached out to any government organizations for help and what response you have received?
SC: We haven’t approached any organization yet. But there seems no such policy or specific ward where we can approach for help. People in India are not well educated about Animal Welfare and Rights.
SM: What is the change you expect from society and people around?
SC: As I have mentioned above Indian public is not well educated about Animal Welfare and its Rights. Little Adaptability and right Education can save our “Mother Earth”. We have the Concept and if given a chance with small little change in each individual we can bring a Revolution in the Animal world.
Our only message to the people is “Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that ONE animal “. SAVE ANIMALS SAVE Environment.
SM: Future plans for your NGO?
SC: Yes we have few plans in process for the betterment of Animal world and also for the smooth and efficient run of our BIRD HELPLINE MUMBAI.
1) In the city so crowed and big there is obviously more of animal casualty than in any other city. The present Ambulance Services cannot match the need. So we want to start the Van ambulance and Scooter Ambulances of our own.
2) The most important point which most fail to understand is You change the Food habits of the strays and half the battle is won. Change in the food habits directly affected the number of diseases they catch and even the behavior towards the society people and strangers changes. We promote Rice and Curd.
3) Our main focus is to spreading awareness of importance of Wild life in the nature and how adversely it affects the Environment. People need to understand “Helping others is our Social Responsibility”.
SM: Message to society and animal lovers.
SC: “THE EARTH IS WHAT WE ALL HAVE IN COMMON “we all need to make an effort to save it. Join hands for any noble cause which connects you to the nature be it animals or birds or trees etc.
Protect Nature and the Nature will protect you.
For any donations or help Sailesh Chowatia and Team can be reached at:
Address: 10/a vithal bhuvan 1st floor 6th khetwadi s.v.p road, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India 400004