Sharmili Mallick

For Bidyadhar Sahoo and Mochiram Nayak, there is no greater virtue than feeding mute creatures. Their love and empathy for bird and dogs have set an example for the people in their localities.

Bidyadhar, a resident of Bandhathia village under Radhaballavpur panchayat at Dhamnagar block in Bhadrak district, who works as a Gramin Dak Sevak at Asurali Post Office, has been feeding hundreds of pigeons on the terrace of his house since a long time.

After finishing his work at the post office at 4pm, he would rush home. He would then climb the terrace to feed bags of grains to hundreds of his avian guests. He has nurtured over 200 species of these birds which he brought from all over the State and outside.

“The pigeons are like my family. I spend around Rs 250 daily to feed them.I have been feeding them since years. We have developed an inseparable bond,” said Bidyadhar.

Bidyadhar’s father, Baishnab Sahoo said, “I offer food and water to the pigeons till he (Bidyadhar) is back from office. After 4 pm, he looks after them. Neighbours and locals also join him in feeding the large number of birds and enjoy the spectacle,” he added.

On the other hand, whenever Mochiram Nayak, a daily wage labourer, walks or drives down the lanes of Harijansahi under Dharakote block of Ganjam district, an entire clan of dogs follows him. The strays bounce up at the sight of Mochiram for their daily munching session of glucose biscuits.

“I feel fortunate to feed them. I owe them a lot for giving me the opportunity to serve them," said Mochiram emotionally. 

"I lead a hand to mouth existence and have nothing in savings. But money never comes on the way of my passion to feed them,” said the die hard dog lover.

A resident of Dharakote, Hrudananda Nayak said, “Mochiram is a great animal lover. Most of his money goes into buying the feed but he somehow manages to pull in.”

At a time when Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to a standstill and people are suffering from unthinkable miseries after losing their loved ones and well wishers to the deadly Coronavirus, Bidyadhar and Mochiram’s unflinching love for the winged species and canines, is a treat for the soul and reaffairmation of faith in the divinity.