01. PIGEONS, were our original messengers and were deployed as Postman, for Strategic purposes, in the bygone days. Even today, some highly specialized eccentric people & some governments do strategically indulge in using Pigeons, as their clandestine messengers /postman.

a) Pigeons are often found in pairs during the breeding season, but usually the pigeons are gregarious (sociable groups), living in flocks of 50 to 500 birds (dependent on the food supply).

b) A Pigeon will lay 1 to 3 (usually 2) white eggs, which hatch after 18 days. Laying of eggs can take place up to SIX times per year.

c) An Indian Pigeon has a Life Expectancy of about 6-8 years and in about Six years, a Pigeon couple, would have parented approximately 60-80 pigeons.

d) One Pigeon, on a per day basis, eats upto 100 grams of human fed Grains, i.e. approximately 200 kilograms, in its life-cycle. This aggregately translates into approximately 12,000 kilograms (12 Tonnes (a truck load) ) of Grains, that gets consumed by a Pigeon couple and its 60-80 children’s.

e) PIGEONS are NOT carnivorous and do not feed on insects /fruits /leaves /plants, BUT typically feed on almost all Grains /Seeds.

kathmandu nepal birds pigeons temple architecture

A. Strange & Contagious Beliefs about Pigeons

02. Unaccounted Billions of rupees are spent, in specifically feeding Pigeons, across India.

a) Apprehensively, due to wide-spread contagious beliefs that Gods specially bless those who feed Pigeons (amongst other orthodox /religious beliefs). This belief is further compounded, since Pigeons are considered Pure, due to their vegetarian feeding habits.

b) Some people believe that feeding Pigeons is a divine work & a Nobel deed and blesses them with Male children.

c) Some people believe that feeding Pigeons would bring them good fortune, good health, good career, good luck, good marriage (!!!!), prosperous business and other whatnots ….

d) Many people regard the Pigeons as messengers of Love, probably due to the intimate (romantic) antics displayed by the Pigeons.

e) Such beliefs being highly contagious, are consistently mimicked & passed down the hereditary line, via family /religious directives and/or by mimicking the seemingly pleasurable feeding stances of other people.

f) Certain communities with their perverted bent of thoughts, continue such nuisances, for their hallucinated pleasures.

B. Economics of Feeding Pigeons:

03. Thousands and Thousands of Tonnes of Grains (Jowari, Wheat, Rice, Chana, Maize, ….) are fed to the Pigeons in India, a Country which boasts of gross malnutrition, poverty and hunger stricken people. This translates to Unaccounted Billions of Rupees being wasted, on unproductive activities.

a) Thousands and Thousands of liters of Fuel /Petrol /Diesel is burnt up, in transporting the Thousands of Tonnes of Grains, used for Pigeon feeding. Many people travel in their Cars, to specific areas, to feed Pigeons. This translates to Unaccounted Billions of Rupees being wasted, on non-constructive activities.

b) People (& even the Govt. /Civic bodies) designate specific areas (aka Kabutar-khana) for Pigeon feeding, in India, a Country which documentarily boasts of millions of homeless people, forced to sleep, propagate, cook & live on roads & dumps. This translates into abetment and propagating nuisances and general public discontent.

c) Billions of Rupees are spent on failing medical treatments of Humans, directly resulting due to Pigeon Feedings & related diseases.

C. What Do Pigeons Contribute To Humans

04. On the Positive Materialistic Side, LITERALLY NOTHING, since Pigeons being literal vegetarians, do not eat Insects /Mosquitos /rodents /rotting flesh, ….

a) Visual and Audible nuisances due to consistent mass Wing-Flapping & Humming noise on windows (miserably starts around 5.30 AM), force Humans to break their early morning sleep, thus leading to a wacky & foggy day ahead, Hyper-Tension /Blood Pressure, amongst the Senior Citizens and other residents, which in turn reduces human productive & constructive activities.

b) Defacing the property, in terms of grains /food items getting lodged and decomposed on the sliding window channels, chajjas, ducts, and other common open spaces.

c) Defacing the property of the Society, in terms of Pigeon droppings as well as filth created by Pigeons, which further propagates various physical and mental diseases, Lung Diseases, Asthma, Skin rash & itching, mood swings and other hygiene problems. Further consistent & continuous foul smell, causing retching & short breathing.

d) The dried and disintegrated Bird Droppings (now in a powder /mist form), consistently disperse over a wide area, with the ever-blowing wind and causing various allergic & other hygiene problems

e) Residents are forced to cover their Apartment balconies, niches, ledges, ducts with Pigeon nets, to avoid the droppings and egg-laying by the roosting & humming Pigeons, who multiply approximately SIX times in a year.

f) Where people boast of living in gated communities /societies, the aforementioned Feeding of Birds & Dogs, causes gross discomfort and discontent and non-cooperation amongst other members, in terms of Bird Droppings, Foul smell, Filth, Defacing the Society property, Mental & Physical health issues, Allergies, grains /food items getting lodged and decomposed on the other members sliding window channels, chajjas, ducts, and other common open spaces, besides the gross & continuous financial implications.

g) Millions of Man-Hours & Water, are wasted for cleaning up of Pigeons droppings that, on a daily basis, consistently deface the scores of buildings across the Cities. Thousands of Liters of Paint is continuously used up to restore defaced & ugly scars left by the pigeon droppings.

h) Above translates to Unaccounted Billions of Rupees being wasted, on non-constructive & unproductive activities.

D. Unaccounted Money Used

05. Evading Statutory Taxes:

a) Billions of Rupees, that are used for such Feeding & allied activities are typically unaccounted and in Cash.

b) Taxations in Millions of Rupees are suppressed

c) Govt. spends Billions of Rupees (at the cost of tax payer’s money) to feed & provide shelters to Below Poverty Line people.

E. Civic Body Fines /Penalty /Prosecutions

06. Many local Civic Body’s have provisions for:

a) Penalty for defacing property.

b) Prosecutions & Penalty, for creating Health & Hygiene issues

c) Prosecutions & Penalty, for such gross nuisances.

F. Legal Judgement

07. ORDER NO.1240 OF 2013 of Mumbai High Court:

a) In above order pronounced on 12th July, 2016, related to Pigeon Feeding dispute, reads as follows “It is well settled that a person cannot use his premises for causing nuisance to his neighbors or other residents”.

b) Relief was given, by way of restraining the perpetuator of Pigeon Feeding.

G. Other Observations

08. The Director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group, remarks:

a) “Humans should not disrupt natural order of things”. “Humans should not play God”.

b) “It is okay to extend compassion by offering birds water, avoiding stepping on ants, putting up bird houses, tending to injured animals or rescuing them from drowning or getting injured, BUT refrain from intervening in the natural order of things”.

c) The world over, Governments are increasingly restraining citizens from feeding Pigeons, due to increasing health & hygiene issues for the country people.

d) Several Medical reports, by Governments & Civic bodies, Medical research institutions, documentarily confirm the Health & Hygiene issues due to Pigeon Feeding nuisances & related injuries.

H. Around the World

09. Many Countries /Cities have banned Pigeon Feeding.

a) VENICE: Pigeon Feeding is banned and punishable with Fine.

b) LONDON: In many places, Pigeon Feeding is banned and is a crime.

c) ENGLAND: Pigeon Feeding is banned

d) THAILAND: Pigeon Feeding is banned and is a crime.

e) US: Many cities have banned Pigeon Feeding. Offences are punishable with Fine & Jail

f) COLOMBIA: Pigeon Feeding is banned and is a crime.

g) CANADA: Many cities have banned Pigeon Feeding.

h) No Tourist destinations or Tourist Hotels /Resorts, creates any such Pigeon Feeding facilities, due to health & hygiene reasons.

I. Contribution of Diseases by Pigeons

10. Humans are increasingly suffering directly due to Pigeon Feeding.

a) HISTOPLASMOSIS is a respiratory disease that may be fatal. It results from a fungus growing in dried bird droppings. It is a dimorphic fungus that can be either in yeast form or in filamentous form. Symptoms: Fever, Muscle pain, Dry cough, Fatigue, Headaches, Chills, Rash and joint pains.

b) CANDIDIASIS is a yeast or fungus infection spread by Pigeons. The disease affects the skin, the mouth, the respiratory system, the intestines and the urogenital tract, especially the vagina. It is a growing problem for women, causing itching, pain and discharge.

c) CRYPTOCOCCOSIS is caused by yeast found in the intestinal tract of Pigeons and starlings. The illness often begins as a pulmonary disease and may later affect the central nervous system. Since attics, cupolas, ledges, schools, offices, warehouses, mills, barns, park buildings, signs, etc. are typical roosting and nesting sites, the fungus is apt to found in these areas.

d) ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS, an inflammation of the nervous system, usually causes drowsiness, headache and fever. It may even result in paralysis, coma or death. St. Louis encephalitis occurs in all age groups, but is especially fatal to persons over age 60. The disease is spread by mosquitoes which have fed on infected Pigeons, carrying the Group B virus responsible for St. Louis encephalitis.

e) SALMONELLOSIS often occurs as “food poisoning” and can be traced to Pigeons. The disease bacteria are found in Pigeon droppings; dust from droppings can be sucked through ventilators and air conditioners, contaminating food and cooking surfaces in restaurants, homes & food processing plants.

J. Apprehended Injury Likely To Be Caused By Nuisance

11. Possible Legal Repercussions & Prosecutions.

a) IF the mass Pigeon Feeding and their resultant droppings, emanate diseases, health, hygienic and other nuisances, THEN the local civic authorities has to initiate prosecution leading to Penalty & Prison.

b) Private Criminal complaints can also be lodged in the local Magistrates court, for the public nuisances and resultant injuries. With proper & strategic twist, criminal sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), can be used to file Private Criminal Complaints in the local Magistrates court, against the perpetuators of such nuisances and related damages, injury ….

c) Provisions of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) can be evoked for damages & compensation, against the perpetuators of such nuisances and related damages, injury ….

d) Due to documented increasing health & hygiene issues, heavy damages for private nuisances & injury, under Law of Torts, is enforceable.

K. Sadistic & Perverted Attitude

12. Shaming Humanity.

a) Spending Billions of Rupees in Feeding Pigeons, in a Country saddled with Poverty & Malnutrition.

b) Least regard for Humanity, in terms of Diseases & related Sufferings, emanating from Pigeon droppings and related allergies to Humans. Ask an Asthma patient, how he suffocates & struggles to breath, due to his infected lung conditions.

c) Shameless mentality to vehemently put up justifications & reasonings to consistently & continuously mass feed millions of pigeons, in name of religion & make-beliefs, at the cost of fellow-human sufferings.

d) Refusing to take care of aged Parents and abandoning or isolating them to various Ashrams, while preferring to continuously & consistently spend thousands of rupees on Feeding & Housing Pigeons.

L. How To Simply Drive /Scare Away Pigeons

13. Some basic non-violent Solutions, to reduce human sufferings.

a) Using a strong thin nylon string, just simply string a non-printed shiny Compact Disk (computer CD), and suspend it strategically in places frequented by Pigeons. The Pigeons just simply cannot stand the randomly moving & suspended shiny streaking surface and simply do not come near the area.

b) Cultivate one “HAWK” (a bird of prey, which does not eat any grains). The presence of the Hawk bird, is self-sufficient to cause the 1000’s of Pigeons to leave the area.

c) Gas canons, which creates explosion sounds, intermittently, causing the Pigeons to leave the area

d) Electro-Mechanical sound machines, with movement sensors, which create pitches, causing the Pigeons to leave the area.

M. Make Your Choice

14. Introspect the Need to uphold Humanity.

a) Feed Pigeons .OR. Feed Humans.

b) House Pigeons .OR. House Humans.

c) Feed Pigeons .OR. save Humans from related diseases.

d) Pigeon Feeding beliefs .OR. stop Human sufferings.

AUTHOR: Hemant Agarwal

Email: [email protected]

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  1. Shri says:

    Article is a sandwich of good and bad things.
    Animals nature is better than humans nature. Humans are selfish. Learn from them to live coordially and harmoniously. It is gods creativity and The world is cosmos and not chaos. Every life is a gods manifestation. Respect the nature and learn to live harmoniously.

  2. Shobita Asthana says:

    A very well researched article. How can we convince the court and government to understand this wastage of resources and further health & hygiene issue and hence ban feeding of pigeons in public areas ?

  3. Deepak says:

    No doubt article is a good food for thoughts but little bit confused about survival of pigeons if all humans stop feeding them. Either v need to develop natural way for their survival or do some thing like these. But no way we can presume their non existence in coming time.


  4. prahlad tanwani says:

    एक आम भारतीय व्यक्ति की मानसिकता बदलना इतना आसान भी नहीं है या समझना ही नहीं चाहता. यथा प्रजा तथा राजा. बहुत मुश्किल है डगर पनघट की.

  5. Chaitanya Dalal says:

    Dear Hemant, and all readers of this well written article.
    I go for morning walk at Chowpatty, (Girgaon) and it is a sight to see when tempo loads of grains are emptied on the beach to feed pigeons. Gross waste of food. I hurts my heart everyday when people throw tons of grains which pigeons can’t even eat and gets spoilt. The joy of seeing children feed handful of grains is one thing and having a heartburn to see so much waste is another. We all silently kill our conscience to people who will say “it is my money and I get pleasure in spending it like this— who are you to tell me?”
    I wish someone does something about this.

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March 2021