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How a Camera Technician Spends 1000 Rs Everyday to Feed Homeless Parrots

It all started with the Tsunami, in 2004. When a lot of lives were put to an end, it was a new beginning for a few others.

Meet Mr. Sekar, a camera technician by profession who has his office in the buzzling Royapettah area in Chennai, in a street exactly opposite to the now famous Express Avenue shopping mall. And well you definitely don’t need a broken camera to visit him, for he offers you more than just one reason to say hello to him and his little green friends.

Every day between 6.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. a flock of green parrots swarm his terrace to peck on to the washed and neatly arranged rice grains with its stunning red beaks. I was greeted by a simple man with folded hands and a warm smile. He didn’t ask me what I had come for. He obviously knew. It was 5 pm on a Tuesday evening and there was food awaiting those beautiful little parakeets, thousands of them! Suddenly the noise of the horns, engines and the city buzz were fading with the chirps of those beautiful parrots taking over. I look above to the sky to watch hundreds of parrots fly above me to occupy their place in the terrace.

Mr.Sekar says that he buys around thirty kilos of rice everyday to just feed his hungry little friends and goes on to say how it all started when two worn-out and beaten down parrots were resting in his terrace, immediately after the Tsunami washout, starving out of hunger and thirst. Everything those parrots had for themselves, had been washed away. Sekar had seen these two little things and fed them with water and food. Surprisingly, from the next day those two parrots had brought all their friends along. Everybody has friends, don’t they! So the count that started from two became hundreds and thousands but that didn’t deter Mr.Sekar from feeding the ever increasing count. Even when Mr.Sekar is out of town either on a personal work or a professional one, his family continues the routine.

While an unbelievable number of people stop here to stare for a while and enjoy the moment there are a few others who just visit the place to watch that sight. Sekar is also extremely careful in guarding his friends while they are having food by not letting anybody get into too much of their vicinity lest they are disturbed on the sight and sound of humans. However parrots are not the only fauna there, there are few other birds that come too, including pigeons.Tiny street, tiny house, tiny office and a big big heart.

I sit and wonder on how a person who lives in a rented house spends around 1000 Rs.everyday to feed these homeless parrots while they sing, sneeze, play and snack in the background! I look at him and he just smiles back. He didn’t have to answer. It was obviously his bit of contribution to this beautiful world. So,what are we doing?

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