Saving Sparrows From Going Extinct, Sadhna Rajkumar Is Encouraging People To Provide Them A Safe Haven
- IWB Post
- April 13, 2019
“I have always loved being close to nature and can also say that have been fascinated by it. I grew up in Perambur, and the house I lived in was an old tiled roofed house, and that was very conducive for the sparrows as well,” says Chennai-based Sadhna Rajkumar, a nutritionist and fitness consultant by profession, who has now made it her life’s mission to protect the sparrows that are nearing extinction.
The house sparrow that was declared the ‘State Bird of Delhi’ in 2012, is edging towards extinction due to urbanization. Curious to find out why was she not able to spot the bird anymore, Sadhna, with a quick Google search found out that it was not only in her city that their number was going down, the once-common bird is becoming a rarity in the other parts of the world as well.
On further research, she discovered that many corrective measures are being taken up, like birdbaths, feeders, and nests in London, so that sparrows are encouraged to return and their population is increased. Having read this, Sadhna was inspired to do something similar in Chennai.
For starters, Sadhna took the initiative of making the nests herself. “Having made many bird nests, I decided to go to the Mahatma Gandhi statue at Marina beach; it is a centre point that attracts people from all walks of life. Armed with 50 hand-made nests I stood there distributing these to people,” she recalled.
“While there were some who were very enthusiastic about taking the nests, some others were skeptical. On the whole, even the process of speaking to people and trying to create awareness was well worth it. I left my number with people and urged them to call me if the sparrows started occupying the nest.”
But what is the reason for the sudden disappearance of sparrows? “While radiation might be one of the reasons why we see lesser sparrows in cities, it is also a lack of food and water bodies that has driven them away. All the ponds that once existed in the city have been filled, and buildings stand in their place,” explains Sadhna.
In order to provide a safe haven to these birds, Sadhna encouraged people to buy cost-effective nests made out of terracotta. However, the task of having these nests made was not an easy one. “I had to visit many potters, and initially all of them refused to take on the job because the shape of the nest was something that would take time and was a little difficult. My search ended when I met potter named Perumal, who understood perfectly what needed to be done.”
Once the nests were ready, Sadhna took them to the areas, where the population of sparrows was low. “Areas such as Perambur, Tondiarpet and Old Washermanpet, Mylapore, Santhome are where I set up these nests. One can still see old, independent houses there, and the tiled roofs and open spaces are what the sparrows come back to,” she told The Better India.
Sadhna’s efforts have already started showing fruitful results. Recently, she set up a nest in the balcony of her mother’s third-floor apartment, who shifted from Perambur to Besant Nagar. “Just last week I saw a couple of sparrows that have adopted the nest. Just seeing them gives me so much happiness. I cannot even explain the joy I feel when I wake up to the chirping sounds,” says Sadhna.
Taking her initiative to the next level, Sadhna has sent her nests to various places in India. “My only wish is that ever city implements this and finds ways by which we can save and bring back the sparrows,” she adds.
H/T: The Better India