Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 05:45 [IST]

Last Update: Tuesday, Mar 21, 2023 00:10 [IST]

World Sparrow Day


Something Doable for All

Sparrows, once so abundant around our houses, are now on the way to extinction. In order to raise awareness about their plight, and to save them from extinction, noted Indian environmentalist Mohammed Dilawar initiated the practice of celebrating World Sparrow Day on March 20, 2010. Since then, it has been celebrated every year.

What can we do to let sparrows increase their numbers, and once again be seen all around us, chirping and frolicking? We can easily provide food and shelter for them. Just throw some rice or other grains on your roof or yard, and that would go a long way in helping them find food. Other birds may also join them to claim that food, of course, and that is also good. In many parts of the world, there are people who provide food, water and shelter for birds. In Rajasthan, it is a practice with many people to offer water to birds in small troughs or containers placed in front of the house. In South India, offering cooked rice to crows in the morning is a routine practice for many.

Another thing we can do for our little friends and other small birds like them is not to destroy trees and shrubs around the house. Besides attracting birds, trees add to the beauty of the environment around our houses, and make the air clean, provide us oxygen, and act as natural, out-door air-conditioners, all for free.

With just a little effort, we can also provide nests for the birds to lay their eggs. Simple wooden or ply-board nests, or round bamboo pieces with one end closed and the other open, old shoe boxes—any of these, placed conveniently and firmly over ventilators, under eaves, in sheds outside the house or any other place which is protected from strong sunlight and rain—can serve as nests for sparrows and occasionally for other little birds.

Of course, these simple things are not to be done only on March 20, but all the time. It is not that we can work for the environment only by protecting huge forests; such small efforts to save the sparrow can also be a big step towards environmental health.

Mohammed Dilawar says, “When you save a sparrow, you save your back yard. When you save your back yard, you save a tree. When you save a tree, you save birds, insects, lizards and bees. When you save birds, insects, lizards and bees, you save a forest. When you save a forest, you save our planet in this journey. It’s a journey of a lifetime; so let’s start it today.”

(The author is Associate Professor, Department of English, Gauhati University. Email: sanjeevnath21@gmail.com)

Sikkim at a Glance

  • Area: 7096 Sq Kms
  • Capital: Gangtok
  • Altitude: 5,840 ft
  • Population: 6.10 Lakhs
  • Topography: Hilly terrain elevation from 600 to over 28,509 ft above sea level
  • Climate:
  • Summer: Min- 13°C - Max 21°C
  • Winter: Min- 0.48°C - Max 13°C
  • Rainfall: 325 cms per annum
  • Language Spoken: Nepali, Bhutia, Lepcha, Tibetan, English, Hindi