Srinagar- Mohammad Yasin was living a cozy life in Switzerland before an urge to realise his late mother’s dream brought him back to Srinagar, where he set up a forest area for birds in the middle of the famous Dal Lake.
A traveller, Yasin’s passion took him to several places before he ended up in Switzerland. However, the passion for birds, inculcated in him during his childhood as he watched his mother feed them, brought Yasin back to Kashmir as he tried to reconnect with her following her death.
“My mother was a big inspiration as I used to watch her feed the birds that came here. I came back to set up this forest area, which, I feel, was a dream of my mother… it is the most important thing for me now,” Yasin told PTI.
“I fell in love with the birds and I am happy to carry forward her work. She is not with us now but I am sure her soul is watching us,” he added.
Yasin was in Ukraine for work last year when the war with Russia broke out.
He said, “There I realised that in every country, people received us with open arms. We were like migratory birds — they also come from far-off places — and I understand that they need the same welcome.”
While a significant number of local bird species have nested in the forest area preserved by Yasin, many winged visitors use it as a stopover.
Common moran, pond heron, malad, kingfisher, woodpecker and Siberian malad are some species that can be easily spotted in the forest area.
Yasin’s father Abdul Raheem is proud of his son’s effort.
“My wife started this… my son returned from Switzerland to take care of it. Early morning, birds used to come to this place and my wife would feed them. She would say it is important to feed birds to get the blessings (of the almighty),” Raheem said.
In view of the growing number of birds and the forest area’s popularity, Raheem wants the government to chip in for its upkeep.
“We don’t need money from the government but it should take measures to take care of the birds,” he said.
The bird forest story is getting traction on social media, bringing in curious people to this mini reserve.
“I came to know about this bird forest area from social media, although my showroom is nearby. I like it as this is a nice concept. This really is inspirational for any bird lover,” said Mudasir Ahmad, a visitor.
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