Have you seen a sparrow lately? Chances are you haven't.
In an initiative to save the endangered bird, the UP government has been distributing sparrow boxes for the World Sparrow Day on March 20. The boxes, which will serve as nests, are being distributed in all 75 districts of the state.
The divisional forest departments of Ghaziabad and Gautam Budh Nagar have already started distributing these boxes in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway areas. The boxes are painted green and have an opening for the bird to slip in. Several NGOs have been roped in to fund the initiative.
“We have launched a drive to distribute 1,000 plywood boxes in educational institutions," said Joga Singh, divisional forest officer (DFO), Ghaziabad. "In the past three days, nearly 150 boxes have been distributed among school and college students. We are encouraging people to place them in their neighbourhood.”
"We have given 53 sparrow boxes to RK Public School, Greater Noida, on Monday. We have also provided 450 of these to the Noida bird sanctuary and the Surajpur wetlands. We plan to distribute 1,000 nests by March 20,” said KK Singh, DFO, Noida.
“The boxes attract small birds such as sparrows, which are decreasing in number due to heavy construction and deforestation over the years. The birds can nest and nurture their young inside the boxes,” said Ruchin Mehra, an environment activist from Ghaziabad.
However, Vikrant Tongad, another environment activist, from Noida, said that the Forest Department also needed to restore the sparrow's natural habitat by planting more trees.
Most of the Noida RWAs City Spidey spoke to were not aware of the initiative. But they welcomed it as a step in the right direction to save the endangered species.
"I think this is a great initiative. These birds have been an integral part of our childhood. It is sad to see so few of them left. If this initiative helps bring them back, I will definitely do my bit," said PK Mittal, President of Sector 71 RWA.
TAGS: Sparrow boxes / Nesting place / World Sparrow Day / Forest Department