Udaipur : Trains pulling tankers to shrivelled zones have been heard often. Keeping water for birds and animals in tanks is common, water supply through tankers for human consumption is also not unheard of, but how many really care for fishes struggling to survive in shallow water under the scorching sun ? Villagers in Menar, a famous birding site, some 50 kilometers from Udaipur, in the VallabhNagar block of the district, have set an example of compassion. Menar being a popular bird destination receiving exotic winged creatures in the winters, have more than 35 species of resident and 50 varieties of terresterial birds.The villagers who are extreme bird lovers call themselves ‘Pakshi Mitras’ and so their efforts to save the dying fish is deeply connected to their immense love for the birds. ” If the fishes die, then the birds will have nothing to eat in winters, they will leave our village which we cannot think of” Dharmendra Menariya, a village youth and forerunner of the campaign told Udaipur Kiran.
Inmates here have been contributing money to get water tankers to prevent the village pond going dry. The cost per tanker around 300 rupees, it had been difficult for the poor people to pool in resources, however, with the reports spreading on social media, nature lovers from across the state have stepped ahead by contributing for the noble cause.
In two days, people from Kota, Ajmer, Dungarpur, Beawar and Jaipur have extended their support to the compassionate villagers to meet out the tanker expenses to help the fishes survive in the water body known as Dhand talaab. So far, around 20 tankers of water have been used to fill in the pits in the pond, however, with the high rate of evaporation, a full tanker dries up within a week. Sensing the gravity of situation, the forest department too for the first time, tried a re-location act by shifting some of the fishes to a nearby pond having a comparatively higher water level. ” We tried re-location of fishes to nearby BrahmaSagar pond, carps weighing around 3 quintals have been shifted” Rahul Bhatnagar, Chief Conservator of Forest said. “Beside the forest department, expert from the Fisheries research centre running under the Maharana Pratap University for Agriculture and Technology too extended help in shifting fishes,but we do not intend to clear all the stock from Dhand talaab because it would be really difficult to develop the aquatic species all over again” Dr Sunil Dubey, a nature enthusiast said. So the actvists and the villagers in a joint effort have been pooling in resources to keep the pits filled through tankers. ” Emptying water tankers in shallow water will cause rapid loss due to evaporation. A pit nearby the pond of 300 ft length 50 feet width with five to six feet depth should be made which can retain water so that fish survive here for longer period until we get the monsoon showers. Local people as well as fisheries and the forest department should come ahead for a shramdaan” L.L Sharma, former Dean-Fisheries college suggest.