While house sparrows are on the verge of extinction, a doctor at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh has been incessantly trying to keep alive the sparrows in the world and memories for the past several years.
This year too, Dr Bhavneet Bharti, an additional professor in department of pediatrics at PGI is busy organising different activities to celebrate World Sparrow Day, which falls on March 20. This year, she organised week-long celebration including quiz, painting exhibition and cultural programmes related to house sparrow at Nivideta Creche of the PGIMER, which will conclude on Friday.
The journey started in 2011, when she first celebrated Sparrow Day with a small bunch of people gathered at the crèche. "This year, there were more than a hundred people. People came to see the exhibition and participated in the events with their kids," she says. Many well-known experts from the departments of zoology, Panjab University, environment and IISER, Mohali participated in the event. Experts interacted with tiny tots and sensitised them about various types of birds such as garden birds, migratory birds and pet birds.
"World Sparrow Day is everyone's chance to rise to the challenge of saving them. I appeal that wherever you are, whoever you are, let's get together for this unique cause to express our joint responsibility to care for nature," she said and quoted a famous quote: "We have not inherited this earth from our parents to do with it what we want. We have borrowed it from our children and we must be careful to use it in their interests as well as our own."
On the occasion, she distributed bird feeders and organised painting competition for children and held discussions on the house sparrow.
At PGIMER, whenever anybody sees a sparrow, they know Bhavneet needs to be told that. "I can't say we got any success in saving sparrows, but I can say that we were able to tell many children what the sparrow looks like. For me, a sparrow is the indicator of times we are heading towards. And I can say now we are being sensitised," she says.