BHOPAL: When was the last time you saw a sparrow roaming in your garden, chirruping around the small house you hanged for it to build its nest and make your home a lively place? Long ago, right? Those in their 20s and 30s will remember how beautiful it felt when the bird played in gardens and parks. But now the bird is on the verge of extinction.
It has disappeared from our verandas, gardens and even the parks. The disappearance is a resultant of our negligence towards the environment but there are a few who are trying to get the little bird back in their verandas and gardens by doing little things they can do. Though they have yet not been successful, they are optimistic that the bird will return. Like Ruskin Bond said, ‘Don’t drive those out of your veranda, they won’t hack into your computer,” these people also believe in the same.
Sangeeta Rajgir, Founder Member of Bhopal Birds said, “We are not realising that this is a big issue but soon we all will have to pay for this step of urbanisation. Bushes have been removed and thatched houses are fast getting converted into concrete buildings. So this bird has no place to live. As a result, its survival is at a stake. Use of insecticides in the garden plants has been one of the major reasons of their death. The sparrow is a garden bird, which is always seen during morning and evening hours in a playful dancing mood.”
Sudesh Waghmare, environmentalist said, “I don’t know where we are heading. By destroying the habitat of a sparrow and we are harming our self too. If you are surrounded by sparrows and if sparrows are coming to your home or area then it depicts that the air in your area is pure and water is also not polluted. Sparrow likes to live in good environment and now should realise where we are living.”
Monika Agrawal and Medhavi Chourey have not done any big thing for these sparrows. But they have built a garden and have placed water and food for birds to come. Monika says, “I have not been successful in getting sparrows to my balcony because to they are not seen anywhere here. But other birds do come. There are many friends of mine who have installed such similar nest boxes, water and food for birds. We are trying to improve the environment around us so that they return back to us.” Medhavi adds that her garden has a seen bird coming for food and water but not sparrows. “They add so much positive environment to house. I want the sparrows to return back to our houses”.
Akshat Shrivastav loved the presence of this bird and soon realised that the bird was vanishing from sight. So in January 2017, he started on his own, a campaign to save sparrows and bring awareness about their reducing numbers, with the name ‘We Sparrow’. The campaign began from Bhopal and has now reached Ujjain, Bhojpur, Bhimbetka, Mandu, Omkareshwar, Maheshwar and Indore. Akshat is traveling to tourist spots to make people aware about the bird and its importance for environment. Akshat talks to his audience in details about the bird, its habitat and why it has vanished from our sight.
Why are sparrows important for us?
n Sparrows are important for maintaining the ecological balance. Every animal and plant has a significance role in maintaining the ecological balance and so is sparrow.
n Sparrows are also
important for pollination of many plants.
n Sparrows eat larvae of many insects and mosquitoes which helps in reducing many diseases.
n And most importantly, sparrows add a positive and a lively environment at home and garden. Many of the bird watchers started their journey of bird watching from home watching these tiny little birds.
Why are we loosing our sparrows?
n The modernisation has reduced the living spaces for sparrows. The lack of nesting sites and food is one of the major reasons for the disappearance of this bird.
n Radiation of mobile tower is also responsible for reducing the fertility of the bird and also the bird navigate through earth’s magnetic field. The mobile tower radiations disturb the easy navigation for birds.
n Excessive use of insecticides and pesticides has also contributed in reducing the number of sparrows.