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Villagers Turned Gujarat's Water-starved Dethli into Bird Sanctuary, Here's How

A prominent lake in the village was drowning in filth and garbage administered into the water body over a period of two decades. (Representational image)

A prominent lake in the village was drowning in filth and garbage administered into the water body over a period of two decades. (Representational image)

The villagers plan to modify the place into a tourist attraction.

There is an interrelation between the body of a human and the environment parenting the human. Therefore, it is only natural that any negative factor affecting the environment is bound to affect the body. A village in Gujarat, Dethli, was surrounded by the consequences of the oblivious and careless deeds of the population living within and the nearby areas. A prominent lake in the village was drowning in filth and garbage administered into the water body over a period of two decades. The area was water-barren, and any flora and fauna seldom flourished in the highly toxic environment. This 1,300-strong village went under a massive makeover and is now a haven for multiple species of birds such as the cotton pygmy, Rudy shell duck, Northern Shoveler, Black-rumped Flameback, Pied Cuckoo, and Spotted Owlet, among 150 other avian species, as per a report by Times of India. Not only this. The prominent lake, which was earlier struggling to breathe amidst all the garbage, is now a 9-crore litre deep lake that is immensely beneficial for the farmers living in the vicinity.

Who or what do you think changed the face of this barren village? Government? Or an NGO? Or Elves?

Well, the source behind the infusion of liveliness in the area was no one but the villagers of Dethli. It was them and some natives of the village, living abroad, who did what seemed to be extremely close to impossible. Not only did they clean the water with their continuous and arduous effort, but they also converted the barren Dethli, into a full-fledged bird sanctuary with roughly 150 species paying a visit to this some sort of an avian lounge.

Mayur Shah, a native of Dethli, residing in Japan, told TOI, “The village was in the migratory route, but no bird flapped their wings here, not even in the vicinity. But now, with everybody's efforts, it is a hotspot for migratory birds.” Mayur’s father, Somchand Shah, was the arms behind desilting the lake. With the help of his father and the forest department, Mayur was able to make three islands acting as a nest for those tired birds who have flown miles to reach here.

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Apart from desilting the lake, the villagers also eradicated encroachment scars and developed embarkments based on modern methods for efficient harvesting of the lake water.

The villagers plan to modify the place into a tourist attraction so that a source of revenue, channeled towards further development of the place, can be established.

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first published:September 24, 2021, 20:04 IST