On the occasion of the first ‘World House Sparrow Day’ on Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said her government would start a campaign to inform people on the decline of the sparrow population in the capital.
“Ye pyari si chidiya ko hame phir se wapas laana hai … (We need to ensure this cute bird returns),” Sheila said.
“Increasing urbanisation has led to the decline of house sparrows. We will start a campaign in Delhi and go about it in a very aggressive way to make people aware of why this is happening," Dikshit said during a programme to mark the day at her official residence.
Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), a body in the field of documenting and conserving natural heritage, along with its partner international NGOs, had organised the event to highlight the reasons behind the decline in the number of sparrows, especially in urban areas.
The reasons include lack of nesting sites, food, effect of pesticides and microwave pollution.
BNHS Director Dr Asad Rehman said it is important to save a species “when it is still common and not when it is on the brink of extinction”.
Rehman also suggested a study on the impact of pesticides on birds in India.
Mohammad Dilawar, in-charge of BNHS's project on sparrows under the aegis of Ministry of Environment and Forests, said sparrows have been human companion for the last 10,000 years.