Hyderabad: Aiming to conserve house sparrows and other neighbourhood birds, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board has launched a public awareness campaign involving students and morning walkers.
March 20 is being observed as World Sparrow Day across the globe to raise consciousness in this regard.
"Every creature has a significant role to play in the web of life. House sparrow is a major indicator of the health of our environment. The sparrow was once a very common bird all over the country, whether it was a bustling urban area or a small village. The decline of house sparrow due to polluted environment is an indicator of the degradation of our environment," W G Prasanna Kumar, a senior official of APPCB, said.
The Environment Education Wing of the APPCB is undertaking the campaign involving school and college students and general public at large on conservation of sparrows.
As part of the campaign, the volunteers will be trained in raising general awareness, preparation of nests for sparrows and habitat conservation like providing water and food regularly to birds.
The training will be imparted to school students during summer vacation at the Bal Bhavan centres across the state, he told PTI.
"The children nowadays are more used to watching TV, playing video games and surfing the Internet than doing something that is close to the nature. The effort is to bring them closer to the nature," he said.
In addition to the student community, the campaigners would reach out to the morning walkers in numerous public parks in the city and other places where people gather in large numbers, Prasanna Kumar said.
The main reasons for the decline in population of house sparrows include unavailability of insects (the baby sparrows are fed exclusively on an insect diet for the first 15 days), pollution by devices like mobile phones and others, absence of appropriate food and increased use of pesticides.
The sparrows do not get grain food as the home makers now
procure packaged clean grains from supermarkets and malls and the practice of women cleaning grains at home no longer exists.
People can pitch in a number of ways to promote the population of sparrows like providing clean drinking water everyday using earthen bowls, metal containers and arranging nest boxes at homes, offices, schools, public parks among others, Kumar said.
Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, who released the posters made for promoting interest in neighbourhood bird conservation yesterday, has shown interest in having a nest in the Raj Bhavan premises.