Manoj Singh Rathore @ Parivartan, Itarsi MadhyaPradesh

Manoj runs a small business in Itarsi town and his communication center is a hub for many young people. Manoj wished to work on Bird Conservation in Itarsi town. He noticed that many common birds like sparrows, pigeons, crows were fast disappearing. The decline in their population was very noticeable. The reasons were many -fewer trees, increasing heat, pollution, radiation, machine vibration and so on. He was keen to what could be done. Manoj had tried various things like a bird bath on his terrace and so on. Yet he knew that his lone efforts fell far short of the needs in summer. He was wondering how he could involve more people and do something tangible.

He was part of Parivartan , a non registered group of some local friends, all working people, who devoted time to work on various social issues. The group has been active for over 10 years and addressed issues like, pollution, dowry, female foeticide . He was sure that with volunteer support form Parivartan he could work on the issue with the local community.

He came to know about Plustrust through Ayesha, also part of Parivartan and a Plustrust fellow who initiated work for the welfare of dogs in Itarsi. He approached us with his idea. He wished to reach out to individual household in various streets of the town and persuade them to install a bird shelter- with provision for water and some shade –on their terraces or in their garden. He would also conduct sessions in school and campaign with posters to raise awareness.

Initially he ran poster campaigns and approached local press to cover the issue. Gradually, people began to notice the effort. Over twenty households came forward to set up these shelters in different locations in the town. A school agreed as well. Over the six month period he was able to design and fabricate a simple bird shelter and approached households in the town.

He has continued his work of sensitizing the public beyond the fellowship period. Local fabricators are now ready to fabricate the shelters and families and households are encouraged by Manoj and his friends to install them in larger numbers.

The fellowship thus helped Manoj to mobilize public opinion and create local support for his cause .