Chennai

Professor of a college in Ramapuram teaches a subject, out of syllabus

For M. Varshini (12), broomsticks serve a different purpose. She snips the bristles of one and places the material within a wooden nest box at her house in Royapuram.

B. Sanjay (12) places twigs of trees and plants inside a nest box at his house in Royapuram.

T. Sashwitha (13) and S.B.Mithra (13) — resident of Thiruvottriyur and Vannarapettai, respectively — have inspired their relatives, friends and neighbours to keep nest boxes at their homes.

They are among the 17 children honoured by Koodugal Trust on this year’s World Sparrow Day (March 20) with Sparrow Saviour Award for their efforts to conserve the species.

Koodugal Trust — founded in July 2020 by Ganeshan D, an assistant professor with the mechanical engineering department of SRM Institute of Science & Technology, Ramapuram — is engaged in house sparrow conservation.

For the last two years, Ganeshan has been working with children in north Chennai.

“Since 2014, I have been distributing nest boxes to residents of north Chennai. At first, I was mainly approaching grown-ups as part of this work. With many of them not displaying much interest in the cause, I started teaching children about sparrow conservation. School children, from Class V to IX are brought on board; nest boxes are distributed to them. This work is being done in nearly 10 schools in north Chennai. These 17 children were chosen for the Award for their consistent house-sparrow conservation efforts,” says, Ganeshan, a resident of Royapuram.

Ganeshan’s initiative is supported by his colleagues Manoj Kumar. V, U. Poongundran, and C. Ayyanar, also assistant professors in the mechanical engineering department.

“Together, we make nest boxes on weekends. Earlier, we would distribute wholly made nest boxes to students. As it was time-consuming and labour-intensive, we now cut the wooden planks to the required measurements and take them to the schools. Distributing the cut planks along with the nails to the students, we teach them how to fix the planks and make a nest box,” says Ganeshan

Ganeshan and his team have set up 100 boxes in Revoor Padmanabha Chetty Matriculation Higher Secondary School and 50 each in Nehru Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Maharishi Vidya Mandir School and Sri Sankara Vidya Kendra Matric Higher Secondary School.

“This exercise was carried out between June and September in 2020. We want to create a sparrow sanctuary in these schools. A good number of sparrows visit Revoor and Nehru schools. Our cause is funded by our well-wishers, including colleagues and friends,” says Ganeshan.

For details about the initiative, visit www.koodugal.org, or call Ganeshan at 96004 99699.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 12:57:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/professor-of-a-college-in-ramapuram-teaches-a-subject-out-of-syllabus/article34187403.ece

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