Authorities in Gujarat in western India are mounting massive operations to treat birds injured during the kite festival next week.
Animal lovers among gynecologists, physicians, dentists are all joining the effort, suspending their own practices for a few days.
During the winter festival, hundreds of birds get caught in kite strings and sustain serious injuries.
Kite-flying is a popular sport in the country and particularly so in Gujarat. The strings are strengthened by applying a home-made chemical paste called manjaa. The idea is to use your string to cut the strings of rivals and ground their kites.
During the Uttarayan festival hundreds of kites dot the sky and there is intense rivalry. In the process it is not just the colourful kites that are brought to the ground but unwary birds too.
But if there are thousands of revelers unmindful of the hazards they pose to the avian creatures, there are also humanists who rise to the occasion.
Gynaecologist Rajal Thaker of Ahmedabad, for instance, has kept three days of Uttarayan free to tend to birds with severe cuts and injuries, reports the Times of India.
Barring emergencies, Dr Thaker would devote his time to assist veterinary doctors who will camp at a special operation theatre set up in a suburb, Thaker says.
"Over 300 birds, including pigeons and vultures, were injured during the Uttarayan last year. I am a self-confessed bird and animal lover and have decided to dedicate three days to save the birds this Uttarayan," he said.
Evidently this concern for hurt birds cuts across religious lines. Even though the Uttarayan is essentially a Hindu festival, Muslim doctors too chip in to nurse the unfortunate birds.
Young dentist Yasser Rafique, who set up practice only recently, says he too will assist the vets in saving birds this year. Dr Rafique says that he has been a bird lover since childhood and spent his formative years at Sundarvan with nature, birds and animals.
"The anatomy of birds may be very different from humans but our surgical experience makes us good assistants as we understand the medical terms, surgical equipment and medical conditions," explains Dr Rafique.
In Surat, physician Amish Shah will close down his clinic for a couple of days to provide immediate medical attention to injured birds. "It is a gruesome sight to see them injured and lying helpless on trees and roads. It is the duty of humans to tend to such innocent and mute beings," says Dr Shah.
This year the forest department has launched an ambitious Pakshi Bachao Abhiyaan-2008,
joining hands with eight voluntary organisations working with birds and animals in Ahmedabad, to set up 28 centres to tend to injured birds.
Vets from across the country will gather at those centres to operate on the injured birds. The treated birds will be released in the very areas where they had been felled by the manjaa strings.