Downtown

Living in harmony with animals and birds

Usha Raj Ramesh has designed her house in such a way that it is friendly to both birds and animals. - Special Arrangement  

This is truly a house friendly to animals and birds: both architecture-wise and people-wise. And by animals we don’t mean just dogs and cats. Even sparrows, crows and monkeys feel at home here.

For Usha Raj Ramesh, an architect by profession, living without pets is quite unthinkable. She has grown up with them and every year there is some new member at her house in Taramani.

“As a child I had many dogs in my house. When I grew up, I realised that instead of buying a new puppy, I could adopt abandon ones,” says Usha, who has six dogs now, all of them adopted. She feels that to inculcate compassion in children, it is important that they grow up with pets. But she says loving pets is not enough, one’s living space must be accommodative as well. “Design of a house is very essential. When I constructed my house, I ensured it was pet and bird-friendly,” says Usha, who has created a conducive space for sparrows to nest in her backyard.

“People talk about not being able to sight a sparrow anymore in the city. That is because we have not created a space for these birds to thrive in,” she says. Every where in the house, openings have been provided for these birds to fly in and fly out.

Usha also extends her love to stray dogs. She ensures that over 25 dogs in her neighbourhood are fed every day. “It is easy to feed dogs, but meeting their medical requirement is more essential. Animal lovers should look into this aspect as well,” she says. In her house there is a space to treat sick dogs, which is fitted with fan and light.

The most special of those visitors are the monkeys that come the kitchen windowsill every afternoon for their share of chappatis. “If no one is around, they give a peculiar call to announce their arrival. As soon as they get their fill, they leave without disturbing anyone,” says Usha. Asked if neighbours don’t mind the monkeys coming, she says, “I get shouted at a lot, but I have learned to turn a deaf ear to all that.”

Usha has a registered organisation called LAA (Love All Animals), through which supports here initiatives. “I fund the organisation with funds generated from sale of the herbal products I manufacture,” says Usha, who has also done a certificate course from the Veterinary College.

Pet lovers can write to her at usharajramesh@gmail.com


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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 8:11:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/Living-in-harmony-with-animals-and-birds/article13977034.ece

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