In the hostile Thar Desert region of Rajasthan, mid-way between Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, the villagers of Khichan have provided an eco-system that brings 12,000 to 15,000 demoiselle cranes to the region every year. A big attraction for the migratory birds is the abundance of bajra and jowar provided by the villagers. Every evening school children scatter the grain. At day break the cranes fly in to eat before flying out to drink water from the seasonal pond and rest in the sand dunes. At one end of the village is the Pakshi Chugga Ghar or bird feeding centre constructed in 1983. It is 50 x 40 m with 8 ft high walls on its north and south and barbed wire fencing on the east and west. While Sevaram Malli is the bird crusader, keeping a record of the birds coming in and tending to the injured birds, the entire community works for the welfare of the demoiselle cranes. The dominant Jain community contribute generously for grain. With the number of migratory birds visiting Khichan on the increase, donations have soared to Rs 25 lakh annually. The birds fly across the mountains of Central Asia from September/ October and their numbers peak in January when there is an influx of bird lovers and tourists. In March the cranes fly back. Khichan is in the same region where the Bishnoi community protect the black buck.