Early on Sunday morning when people were still hitting the snooze button, nature lovers, environmentally conscious citizens and cyclists from across the city gathered at Cubbon Park.
A cyclothon from Cubbon Park to St. Joseph's College of Commerce doubled as a rally to build awareness on the dwindling number of sparrows in the city, and around the globe. The event was organised by the Zed Foundation and St. Joseph's College in the run-up to World House Sparrow Day on March 20.
The cyclists planted over 15 sparrow nests in the vicinity of the park and the college.
Lack of nesting place
Harish Narayan, general manager, events, Zed Foundation, said, “There are not many sparrows left in the city because of lack of nesting space and food. In order to provide them with the suitable nesting place, we have designed and distributed sparrow houses.”
It was a motley crowd that gathered here for the cause. Participants included students, working professionals, activists and experts who turned up to show their support for the cause.
Murli Ramanath, director, Namma Cycle, said pollution too was a factor that had led to the decline of sparrows. He said, “Whenever roads are widened, trees are cut down, some of them around 200 years old. Urban planning has to make sure that there is less noise and pollution if we want these birds to be present in our environment.”
Kiran Kumar Sen, a student of environmental science from St. Joseph's College, said the decline of sparrows was symptomatic of a growing ecological problem.
Govind Vardhan, another student who participated in the cyclothon, said, “We are concerned about nature and the quality of the environment. We are not giving [sparrows] the space to live, the environment is polluted and there is a major depletion of green cover. If we do not wake up now it will be too late to set things right.”