September 5th, 2010 | Published in Documentary
Jain Temple Complex, Old Delhi
Photo © Mohit Gupta, All Rights Reserved
(From a work in progress)
Do not destroy life
Speak the truth
Accept nothing that is not freely given
– Mahavira’s five ways to get rid of wheel of life
The quest to rediscover and experience the lost in the lanes of Delhi led me to this place. As I circumspectly entered the temple complex, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to photograph inside, nonetheless I wanted to go, see and experience what’s it like being here. In this fast moving, head spinning Delhi life where human life’s worth has become insignificant, here’s this three storey building where birds find a healing touch and are cared for. Jainism is based on the premise that every material thing like fire, wind, plants, leaves, insects and animals have souls and it’s a sin to kill life in any form. The hospital just exemplifies this belief.
The most frequent visitors to this place are the ubiquitous pigeons. The birds are treated for diseases like cancer besides the regular accidents which usually lead to broken wings. They are given proper care until they are healthy enough to be discharged. Founded in the 1950s, the hospital seemingly is pretty well known among the bird lovers and has high admittance rate esp. in the kite season when these birds are more prone to accidents (because of sharp kite threads).
Jain Bird Hospital was established in the 1950s and is funded entirely by private donations. The hospital has a capacity to serve more than 5000 birds at a time. In case any of you is interested in donating for the cause feel free to contact them.