Dateline Nainital Mussoorie: Ever found yourself wondering about the name of a particular bird you saw on your visit to Uttarakhand? Uttarakhand kay Pakshi/Birds of Uttarakhand has all your answers to the State’s varied avian delights.
Recently launched on Amazon, this comprehensive guide is available in both Hindi and English. It took a dedicated team a little over three years to compile four hundred bird fifty species of birds found exclusively here. Authored by Nainital based Aneel Bisht the two hundred and forty eight pages book has been published by Leafbird Foundation.
What makes the guide even more endearing is the fact that it is illustrated with close to six hundred hand-painted birds by ten voluntary artists of Uttarakhand.
Bela Negi fills me up about the project from Mumbai, “I have done the Hindi translation, producing, designing etc of the book and feature as a co-author. All the work was done on a voluntary basis and all profits from the book go back to the Leafbird Foundation.”
For the past seven years and counting, the Trust has been working in remote villages of Uttarakhand tackling migration. In trying to develop livelihood opportunities for the villagers and in creating an awareness about the environment, the trust held a few birding camps for the locals. The villagers made a demand to have a bird guide in Hindi and what started as a booklet developed into a full-fledged book in English and Hindi – the first of its kind for Uttarakhand.
Bela further adds, “I would describe it as a book by amateurs for amateurs, where we have kept the language as non-technical as possible and made it user friendly. We are especially excited about the Hindi version as that will allow the villagers to become bird guides. Also it will be a handy guide for tourists traveling into the mountains.”
In the coming days, the Trust plans to work on a comprehensive guide on the flora fauna of the hillstate as well, another collectors item I am sure.