Once spotted very commonly perched on household window sills or anywhere in houses, sparrows are now barely spotted anywhere, thanks to environmental impact leading to them being near extinction. With rampant modernisation, house sparrows have had their natural habitats snatched away from them. Worried about the long-term impact of their loss on the planet, a Chennai-based professor has founded the Koodugal trust, an outfit that works to create safe and secure living spaces for these birds.
Ganesan D, who is a a professor at SRM Institute of Technology in Chennai has an army of sparrow champions who have helped create secure homes for these birds spread all across north Chennai. Children studying in schools are also part of Ganesan’s team and diligently work to create living spaces for the birds, The Better India reported.
Ganesan, who was born to a farmer couple realised the value of animals and birds early on and while in college, was introduced to a nest box and it helped him understand its importance of such safe spaces for birds. In 2017, when he started working as a full-time professor he started conducting awareness drives about sparrows everywhere. He bought nest boxes priced at Rs 100 and toured houses in his local area of Royapuram and distributed the boxes, requesting people to place them on their roofs and monitor it. His endeavour received some success in it, Ganesan then reached out to delivery boys and grocery stores and took their help in spreading the idea further. But after not recieving much success through buying the boxes, Ganesan decided to build them and just bought the raw materials for it. In a month, he was able to make 500 such bird houses.
Ganesan also started teaming up with students in schools of north Chennai and conducted workshops to teach them how to make these bird houses. It helped him to reach out to more and more people as the children helped build the nest boxes and also distribute them among locals.
Ganesan said his initiative has helped bring the birds back to the localities. They have been inhabiting the bird boxes and people have even started reaching out to him to place for orders of sparrow houses.
Ganesan has till today helped install 1,250 bird boxes across houses and schools, out of these 950 have been occupied by birds so far. By next year on March 20, which is the World Sparrow Day, Ganesan hopes to distribute over 10,000 bird houses across the entire city of Chennai.