The Imperial College, located in Odisha’s Bardgarh district, is spread over an area of nine acres. The college campus is surrounded by fields and natural beauty. The greenery surrounding the college and its surroundings makes this place favorable for birds and biodiversity. In 2019, when 45-year-old Deepak Goel, the director of the college, was walking in the back of the college campus, what he saw increased his trouble. In fact, he noticed that the farmers in the fields adjoining the boundaries of the college campus were trying to drive some parrots present there from their fields. Deepak noticed that parrots are eating corn crops as if they were very hungry. They were very uneasy about the fact that parrots were not getting their food. He then decided to find a solution to this problem. His desire to contribute to nature inspired him to do something. He planted sunflower plants on about half an acre of the college campus, making it a parrot farm and now about 500 parrots are able to take their food here daily.
Talking about building gardens for the birds’ diet, Deepak says, “I decided to use the empty space on the college campus to feed the birds.” Therefore, we identified a place in front of the campus, where we tried to grow corn. ”
However, parrots and other birds did not come to the place due to the movement of students and the movement of vehicles. Seeing all this, Deepak decided to build a parrot farm in the back of the college campus. Because there was less noise and people coming and going.
He says, “Although it was a safe place, the soil here was not suitable for growing corn.” This raised another challenge in front of me. Therefore, I started researching some alternative crops for the diet of parrots. ”
After doing some research, Deepak came to know that sunflower seeds can be a good choice for a parrot diet. Also, its plants can be grown easily in the soil there. Subsequently, he decided to grow sunflower plants on half an acre of land with the help of some employees. Since the year 2019, the number of parrots visiting this parrot farm in the college campus has increased from 200 to about 500.
Deepak says, “It is not possible to keep their count, but seeing them flying together in the herd, it seems that their number is continuously increasing. In the evening, seeing these birds flying together in different beautiful patterns in the sky, one can easily find out the increasing number of them. ”
Synergy with nature
Seeing these beautiful flocks of birds, college students and staff are also very happy and appreciate this step. Sahil Aggarwal, a college official (senior executive operations), says, “This parrot farm in the sunflower attracts hundreds of parrots. Here all the plants are planted by biological methods and no chemical pesticides are sprayed on the flowers. Here, students often spend their time in the shade of nature in the morning and evening, and spend their time flying birds. ”
However, Deepak says that it was not easy for the birds to build this parrot farm. He told, “For this, our college had the necessary resources and land, but it was also necessary to change the mindset of the workers. Initially, they wanted to hunt or catch parrots and sell them. He also raised the question that why should we work so hard just to feed the birds, from which we will not get any benefit? ”
Deepak says that a lot of effort has to be made to convince the workers and make them aware of nature.
Deepak said that by the end of 2021, the college administration is planning to increase this sunflower parrot farm from half an acre to one and a half acres. He adds, “We are considering a plan to increase biodiversity for squirrels and other local species as well.”
He finally said, “Man and nature have to live together. For our own personal interest, nature cannot be compromised. Also, giving birds their food is a way to stay connected to nature and not forget their roots. ”