After regular follow-up and demand by the animal activists from Thane, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has placed banners to spread awareness against feeding pigeons in the city. As this practice leads to increased cases of 'hypersensitive pneumonia' causing lung diseases.
"The letter was written by around four NGOs working for the animals' welfare, in Thane. It has been noticed that the among lung diseases causing to citizens around 60-65 percent cases is of 'hypersensitive pneumonia.' This was highlighted by these NGOs demanding to prevent human contacts with pigeons, which often takes place while feeding them," said TMC official.
The TMC has announced to charge Rs.500 for feeding the pigeons through this awareness boards placed in various corners of the city.
"This disease is causing through the feathers and droppings of the pigeons, leading to lung infection. Hence, amid pandemic, the patient already suffering through 'hypersensitive pneumonia', if get diagnosed to COVID-19, could lead to more harm for their health," added official.
"It's one of the major health issues, which needs awareness among the citizens. Hence, we approached the TMC to start an awareness campaign on this. The campaign only directs to avoid close contacts and feeding pigeons and not to harm them. There have been many cases in which we have noticed that from children to senior citizens in the city are diagnosed with 'hypersensitive pneumonia' caused due to pigeons. Hence, in spite of being the animal lovers and activists, we have highlighted this issue to Corporation, who have responded it by a carrying an awareness campaign, which is need of an hour," said Rohit Joshi, founder of the Yeoor Environmental Society, Thane, one of the NGOs from Thane who demanded the awareness campaign against the feeding of pigeons.
According to the experts, the incessant supply of food from humans, they gather in fleets and their number is increasing in the city limits exponentially. This has resulted in the increase of cases of asthma and hypersensitive pneumonia among the citizens. The feeding to pigeons causes losing the natural instincts of searching their food and breaking the natural food chain, as they are often dependent on humans for the same.
"After reading the banners against feeding pigeons, placed in the city by TMC, I too started forwarding the pictures of the same into friends and family through social media. As I have been highlighting this issue after coming across many such patients suffering through 'hypersensitive pneumonia'. But the awareness of the same was much needed to be carried on Corporation or government body. Hence, I support this campaign which highlights harms causing to humans due to feeding pigeons," said Nilesh Ambekar, citizens activists from Thane.
The awareness campaign against feeding pigeons has also received negative feedback from the citizens.
"The campaign has been introduced on the basis of facts and health issues causing to citizens. Hence, though few citizens are against the same, however, it will continue by TMC as health safety is more important at present considering the pandemic situation. The citizens have been directed to not feed the pigeons and not harm them," said Sandeep Malvi, deputy municipal, TMC.