Dana Chugney Na Ayye Chirdiya

Feeding birds have always made me happy. I have been feeding them for years, though there had been a gap because of the disappearance of the little sparrows from the Delhi atmosphere. Recently I re-started looking for the joy of feeding birds every morning like I used to a few years back, and bang on, the tiny friends, the winged lovelies now flock my balcony again each morning. When I go out I found these lovely friends waiting for me to put out the grain…what joy!! It gives me immense pleasure and happiness, meditative watching these birds and a lot of squirrels picking on one grain after another, untiringly, automatically, determinedly they just keep pecking.

These little creatures share this wonderful world with us, so how can they be behind? They learn fast and like us, a few fight with each other and wouldn’t let others eat and in the process miss out on eating time themselves too. And every now and then they go sip on the water that I also have kept there…and then back to collecting more food in their beaks.

Lots of different varieties of these winged little creatures are my friends now. Pigeons, bulbuls, mainas, doves, and some exotic little birds whose names I don’t know all come over and enjoy the food and water that are kept for them. But very sadly, I miss those little brown sparrows. Not one. Having been born and brought up in the city I have always had sparrows around me…in my garden, on the windows and merrily chirping away even inside our homes. I miss them.

Lot of various reasons have been cited by the environmentalists over the past few years talking about almost a 50% drop in the population of sparrows. It never was a cause of concern for me, but suddenly one day it struck me. Today as it has become so very obvious to me, it is bothering me. Huge trees everywhere in the city – but the sparrows are missing. The sweet sound of them chirping is missing.

The reasons are many, but still I list a few of them here…

The main being the architectural changes, and the mobile phone and mobile phone towers. Sparrows used to make their nests in our homes, they used to breed in our houses, the sunshades, the windows. The ever increasing construction, the multi storied apartment building don’t leave enough space for a human to breathe properly – so how can a little winged birdie live?

The other important reason being the Mobile Radiation. The environmentalists who are trying to unravel the cause of Sparrow’s disappearance have identified mobile phone to be a main reason. Studies have warned about the effects of these mobile radiations on human beings too, so we can very well visualise the affect these radiations will have on aviation life. The extensive use of pesticides and insecticides in our farms and gardens have created a scarcity of insects, and this also leads to the thinning in numbers of these small birds. It really saddens me to learn all this but then at times at certain localities I do spot a few sparrows still in the city and that makes me happy. But the fact still remains that thee small birds, the sparrows are becoming extinct for my city Delhi and I think its time we should do something to save them and bring them back.

I guess the least we can do is when we is, if we spot any around our houses — feed them. Put a water pot (don’t worry about the MCD officials coming to check during Dengue days) and out some drinking water, so they can coolify themselves by drinking and bathing in the scorching heat of Delhi summers. Buy a small bird house and put it in your balcony, on your terrace, please, please give them a home to come back to.

In fact Delhi government has made the sparrow the bird of the State of Delhi, so friends let’s all come forward and try to bring back this small friend back in our homes and share this wonderful nature with our winged friends.

Let’s all make efforts to listen to some soothing music of these winged musicians.

That Special Letter

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