The birds, called “shalik” in the native language, are commonly referred to as mynahs.
One morning five years ago, Samor fed a few of them. The next day he noticed more birds had gathered at the same time. And day after day, the number of birds increased and now reach up to 2,000.
“It was February 2012, early on a winter morning. I was standing idle in front of my sweetmeat shop … I noticed a few Indian mynahs roaming around in search of food. I fed them with chanachur (Bombay mix), which is a subcontinental snack food. The next day, the mynahs came in a group and (there were) more in number,” Samor told Arab News.
Samor feeds them every day with much affection. And now a large number of people from the city and adjacent towns gather in front of his “Shyamol Mistanno Bhandar” sweetmeat shop to watch the mynahs.
“This is amazing. The mynah, although a quarrelling species of bird, here feed so calmly and quietly. One can only hear the chirping of the birds,” Arman Hossain, one of the spectators at Samor’s “bird sanctuary within the city,” told Arab News.
“The mynahs travel 10 to 15 km every day to enjoy their breakfast with me. I spend 45,000 taka (nearly $600) per month to feed them. To me, it is like paradise when the mynahs encircle me at the start of the day,” Samor said.
In Bangladesh, a middle-class family might find it hard to spend $600 a month on living but Samor is spending a huge amount on feeding the birds. He justifies the expenditure saying, “Actually I am not doing anything. It is the Almighty, and if He (Almighty) wishes, I will have the ability to do more for His creatures.”
Samor’s efforts have made him a nationally-acclaimed nature-lover. Last year the Bangladesh Forest Department presented him with the country’s best “bird-lover” award.
Samor, a father of four, has involved family members in the project. His 11-year-old son Sharon Kumar Ghosh sometimes feeds the birds when Samor is out of town on business. Samor has asked is son to continue the tradition of feeding the mynahs in the future.