Spending time in the Quarantine situation can be really boring, isn’t it? With constant accelarating panic and tension and keeping a close watch in our television screen, we often lost ourselves in the increasing curve of the Covid -19 infection.
Doors shut, no traffic on road, offices closed, malls and parks are empty- the lifestyle has turned into a complete halt for the past few weeks. We are trembling in fear, and praying “hope this will pass soon.”
I don’t know how many have given a thought of it, but this complete cease of human intervention is somehow becoming fruitful for all our voiceless neighbours. The birds, squirrels, bees, butterflies now can roam around without any fear of getting caught or killed by humans. Let me give you a very common example, while working from home I can see sparrows chirping on my balcony freely, parakeets munching on green mangoes along with bulbuls and squirrels without any fear of getting injured by stones thrown by the owner of the tree, purple sunbirds are roaming with their full chorus around our locality which is indeed a rare sight. It's absolutely wonderful to realize our busy locality has become an Eden to these beautiful animals & birds amidst the heart of Kolkata.
The global picture is no less different than this. Dolphins are coming back in the canals of Venice, while Italy struggles for survival in the pandemic. In India, the turtles are laying eggs on the abandoned sea-beaches, flamingos are forming a majestic pink upholstery in the lakes of Maharashtra, a aimless Nilgai roaming around on one of the busiest highways of Noida, Civet cats are sighted on the busy roads of Kerala, an entire peafowl family is been shown taking in charge of a balcony in a building- all these shows where we are lacking actually.
It is not always “why are they in our place?” First and foremost, we are in their habitat. It is the greed of the human race to destroy their habitat in initiation and let those voicelesses die out of food, habitat and safety. With the increasing greed, the more cases of habitat loss are reported, resulting in loss of biodiversity on an alarmingly large scale.
If we go back just a few chapters, we saw the Amazon burning, we also witnessed the terrible wildfire in Australia, a few days back only the man-made wildfire on the Shushunia hills in West Bengal also came into headlines. All the photos of those scared, half-burnt, nearly escaped animals & birds were circulating on social media platforms. All we could do is to feel sorry. It is not about feeling sorry or helpless, it is about to decrease this greed. In every year, a significant number of Orangutans are killed because of the increasing demands of Palm Oil. Can we not just avoid the products using Palm oil as one of their ingredients? Why are we letting our biodiversity be lost as we have a few species left on earth?
We have lost Sudan, the last male white Rhinoceros, we have lost Harambe for unwanted human interaction, we lost Avni-the tigress, a young mother for the greed of human, gradually we losing the leopards, elephants, gours, birds under the speeding wheel of express trains in North Bengal- when this will stop? When this acceleration of illegal development will come into a lockdown like the present scenario so that our rich biodiversity can be saved?
So, if you are enjoying a clear sky, fresh air, the dawn chorus of birds near your locality- feel sorry for yourself. You invaded their space, now they are taking up their own. With all respect to the deceased and the fighters struggling on the front row, keeping an eye-to-eye with the pandemic, it is also a blessing in disguise for this nature to be healed.
- Jagari Mani | Process Administrator, Hulladek Recycling Pvt. Ltd. | Kolkata,