Nepal woman, 105, finally granted citizenship

Updated 05 December 2012
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Nepal woman, 105, finally granted citizenship

Katmandu: A pensioner has been granted Nepalese citizenship more than a century after she was born in a remote village of the Himalayan nation, an official said yesterday. Krishna Kumari Gharti, a 105-year-old widow who lives in Pakhapani village in the mountainous district of Parbat, one day’s walk from the nearest road, was among a group of residents to be given identity cards for the first time.
“Our officials traveled to the village after hearing complaints that many were deprived of citizenship,” Tek Bahadur KC, district administrative officer told AFP by telephone. “Her name was registered in our list of elderly who were receiving the monthly allowance. So we granted her the citizenship card. She was very happy,” he said.
“Most of these people living in the villages generally don’t venture out of the place. They are also hardly involved in any businesses. That’s why they spend their lives without citizenship.”


Singapore’s deaf ‘bird whisperer’ forms rare bond with feathered friends

Updated 24 April 2018
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Singapore’s deaf ‘bird whisperer’ forms rare bond with feathered friends

SINGAPORE: Deaf since childhood, Razali Bin Mohamad Habidin has developed a closer bond with the creatures under his care than any other keeper at Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park, where other staff refer to him simply as the “bird whisperer.”
Razali, who lost 80 percent of his hearing after falling ill as a baby, started working at the park over two decades ago, and has risen to the position of deputy head avian keeper.
He communicates with the birds through grunts, gestures and body languages and said that he recognizes the birds by their “behaviors and personalities.”
“All of them are my friends,” he added, communicating through a mix of gestures and Malay.
Other staff at the park have dubbed the 48-year-old “the bird whisperer” — after Hollywood film “The Horse Whisperer,” starring Robert Redford as a trainer with a gift for understanding horses.
“He has a way of communicating with the birds that very few of us can,” said assistant curator Angelin Lim. “Just by a look, he knows whether or not the bird is well.”
Communication with his colleagues can be more challenging than with the birds.
Razali leads about a dozen staff and giving them instructions usually involves him making various complex hand gestures, and then reading the lips of his colleagues when they respond.
His way with the creatures at the park, which is home to more than 5,000 birds from parrots to hornbills, was on display as he brought a snack of palm fruits into an enclosure filled with parrots.
The hyacinth macaws, the world’s largest parrots, stopped squawking and watched him curiously before following him.
One of the giant birds perched on his shoulder, playfully rubbed his finger with its beak — a sign of trust and affection — and ate out of his hand.