Chennai

Thanks to this professor, sparrows are finding new homes

Kuruvi Ganeshan has been giving away nest boxes

D. Ganeshan, an engineering college professor, is emerging as north Chennai’s own Pakshirajan, sharing a bond with birds like the character of the same name in Rajinikanth’s 2.0. The young professor has been making and distributing nest boxes to schools and residents, among other things, for sparrow conservation.

Popularly called Kuruvi Ganeshan, the Royapuram resident spends his time, after work as assistant professor at the SRM Institute of Science and Technology, reaching out to people to increase the population of critically-declining house sparrows.

He and his students’ team have managed to bring sparrows to nearly 70% of the 1,000 nests, distributed across localities, including Royapuram and Tondiarpet, over the past eight months.

It all started during his college days, when he developed an interest in environmental projects, and his professor T. Murugavel guided him on sparrow conservation measures.

“Sparrows have lived closely with people. They are an important part of the food chain and feed insects to their offsprings. They are a help to the farmers too,” said Mr. Ganeshan, who found that some parts of north Chennai were still home to sparrows.

Listing out some of the reasons, he said changing urban architecture, mobile tower radiation and depleting food sources led to a fast decline in the sparrow count in urban areas.

“I started visiting homes in north Chennai to spread awareness on the importance of sparrows and shifted to Royapuram two years ago. But I couldn’t cover many people. I initially bought sparrow nests that were costly. Then I started purchasing wood and other materials and learnt to make nests,” he said.

The initiative picked up pace after he approached Dhanalakshmi Higher Secondary School, Royapuram, last year. He conducted workshops for students on nest making.

During weekends, students assist him in making nests. Mr. Ganeshan has distributed free nests to students from five schools and residents through his organisation, Environment Monitoring and Action Initiating.

Besides holding workshops regularly, he also led a rally in north Chennai recently. A sparrow conservation club and a nest bank were also inaugurated a the Dhanalakshmi school to enrich knowledge about birds and develop students’ interest in wildlife photography. He can be reached at 9500699699.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 7:52:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/thanks-to-this-professor-sparrows-are-finding-new-homes/article30746042.ece

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