SILCHAR, May 3 - As the country moves into the third phase of the lockdown to contain the spread of the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic, politicians and people in general across many places have gone out of their way to provide relief material in the form of essential items to the weaker sections of the society.
In Silchar, 49-year-old photojournalist Partha Seal, however, is on a different mission altogether. Besides his official assignments, he often reaches out to birds at home and monkeys in far-flung areas across the district.
He even keeps grains for birds in his scooty and spreads them whenever he meets the winged denizens.
The Assam Tribune recently spoke to Partha to know about his love and concern for birds and animals and his humane gesture towards them during the lockdown.
�Apart from my work, I love feeding birds and animals. At home, birds frequent our lawn to feed on grains which I collect for them. Recently, a person from Srikona informed me that hordes of monkeys in the vicinity often visit the residential areas in search of food. With the vegetable markets closed due to the ongoing crisis, the simians are compelled to go hungry, following which they forage for food around the locality.�
�In an effort to bring respite to the hungry simians, I travelled at least 10 kms away from home and subsequently fed the monkeys. From watermelons to cauliflowers, apples and pomegranates, the monkeys gleefully took everything I offered,� said Partha.
Asked whether he faced objection from the locals for feeding the monkeys, Partha admitted that there was blatant opposition from people in the area. But the point that the animals too needed food to survive was a far stronger argument to quell the protests.
�I am happy to be of some worth for the animals whom I see struggling to find food. People may utter mean words and even try to disrupt me, but I was able to serve the simians in whatever way I could. Reflecting on the situation, I feel some higher power may be driving my actions, or else how is it that the monkeys do not injure me, nor the birds fail to respond positively,� he maintained.