The house sparrow in Puducherry has been written about by many poets, most notably by Tamil poet Bharatidasan who describes the sparrow’s nest in the eaves of the houses. In his poem “Chittu,” he appeals to the people to protect the sparrow, which wanders around with such enthusiasm and collects grains from the fields.

Unfortunately in recent years, the sight of a sparrow inside the house is extremely rare and even if it ends up in the house, it is often chased out.

The students of Artchouna Soupraya Naikar Government Middle School have now decided to change that scenario by building a bird feeding station that they can keep in their houses.

The idea is simple. The students have taken an empty PET bottle and drilled holes in it. They have then filled the bottles with grains like rice, wheat and ragi. Some students have then created perches to allow the birds to rest as they eat and still others have introduced bird baths and other features.

“Every day sparrows come to my house and one has even built a nest here. My family usually feeds the birds, but if I set up a bird feeding station in my house, the birds will be able to eat whenever they want to,” one of the students Dhanush from Class VIII said.

Meenakshi, who studies in Class V, has decided to keep her bird feeder in the school. “I can take it home, but what if the children break it and throw it away? Instead, if the birds in the school can eat, then that is a better option,” she explains.

“The idea is to encourage the sparrows to come into their houses. Many of these children have seen these sparrows, but they are slowly being chased out of houses. Through this project, the children not only learn about conservation, but also learn to love birds and it will also give them a sense of responsibility,” Aravind Raja, the teacher responsible for the project said.

The students have been working on their feeders for the past three days, and on Tuesday, they exhibited them in the school before taking them home to hang.

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