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  Title Image Birds Conservation : Article
Gone are the days when people used to wake up in early morning on hearing the charming and soothing chirping of innumerable birds – often accompanied by orchestra of some birds singing – who used to perch on thick canopy of a variety of trees, nursed and nurtured by each and every person in the town or village. This scenario has undergone a drastic change. Indiscriminate falling of trees prompted by the greed of man has played havoc with their habitat. Now, the sparsely found unhealthy trees are unable to support their habitats. Poor Birds! We can only sympathize with them!

I can easily recall my young age spent in my hometown, when I was woken up by my parents in the morning by their cajole that, “My son, see, the sparrows have come, crows have come, parrots have come. Please wake up.” I could be ready for the school in no time by watching the small sparrows sitting on the wall and tweeting incessantly. But now, time has totally changed. Instead of mentioning the names of such birds, children are woken up by mentioning TV cartoon characters like ‘Doremon’, ‘Nomita’, ‘Tom and Jerry’ and so on. It is true that progressive changes have taken place in many fields. The present generation is a testimony to it. It is a fact that the progress achieved after the 80’s of the last century is really commendable.

We are in a paradox. In our quest to progress we have altogether forgotten the role of nature and its environment and sidelined the storing and confronting problems pertaining to the degradation of the environment and conservation of nature. For this neglect and casual approach to the nature, man has to pay a big price in the future, unless timely remedial measures are taken. Every organism in this planet has its role to play, and it is destined by the creator. The birds have a major role to play as they are in a habitat of frequent shifting from place to place, for one reason or the other thereby playing an important role in maintaining Ecological Balance. But, oblivious of this fact, the callous mind of man is bent upon annihilating the birds, may be for appeasing the taste buds or for sheer fun. As a result, their population is dwindling at fast pace. Their decimating population is also the result of the action of another monster lurking at the doorstep in the ugly shape of environmental pollution.

There was a good time in the past when ladies had cultivated the habitat of setting apart some grains for birds while cleaning and storing grains. Birds were in the habitat of merrily visiting the houses in search of grains and the ladies were happy to feed them daily. Nowadays very seldom people are bothered about buying grains and storing, instead a majority of people go for purchasing ready made items, processed and well packed and in some cases even half-cooked. The poor birds have to bear the brunt of this bad trend and they are deprived of their life sustaining food and nobody is paying attention to feed them, leaving them starved and ultimately leading to death. Apart from this, the bird population is declining due to the harmful electromagnetic waves emitted by the tall mobile towers standing as symbols of modern telecommunication system. The exhaust fumes released by countless vehicles carrying toxic substances has a catastrophic effect on birds population. The modern agricultural practices requiring chemical fertilizers are detrimental to bird population, as the chemicals easily enter the food chain system and interface with the reproductive aspects of birds. The situation has gone from frying pan to fire, on account of the popularity the consumption of meat and eggs of birds as an Aphrodisiac agent. Some quacks are unscrupulous in spreading such canards like consumption of sparrow’s eggs enhance desire for sex, such wrong concepts are taking gullible people for a ride by the enemies of nature. All these are pushing bird's population on the brink of extinction.

I, Avinash Nigam, the Director of ‘Swadesh Sewa Sansthan’ can recall, how I got inspired to start the Sansthan nearly seven years ago. I conceived the idea after drawing inspiration from my dear mother Late Mrs. Sushila Devi Nigam. She had an insatiable passion for birds and under her guidance, boxes and pots were designed in such a way that birds could easily be attracted to make nests where they could protect and incubate their eggs and nestlings from the attach of predator birds. They were tied at home and outside in the field and proved to be tremendous success. They proved as to a boon to save the threatened birds, especially sparrows in making their nests in safe and secure places. In order to boost this programme at a higher level and on a larger scale, we ventured to contact many organizations like Alert, FES (Foundation of Ecological Security) and ARCH (Action and Research for Conservation of Himalayas, Uttarakhand). Besides, we had the privilege of meeting Mr. Rahul Bhatnagar, Deputy Wildlife Warden, Udaipur in this connection. Such contacts and meetings were highly fruitful to launch a big programme emerged from a small one, encompassing a number of activities.

Experts in Bird Conservation are of the view that, conservation of forests and agricultural tends into dwelling units and factories is the main culprit, threatening the birds population. They further say that the pushing of many species of birds to the border line of extinction is due to deforestation coupled with environmental pollution and habitat destruction. In rural areas, the favorable habitats of birds are disturbed and distorted by the introduction of modern modes of agriculture, where high doze of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used, which in turn will result in large scale exodus of birds and their ultimate doom.

Scientists are of the opinion that the decline in bird population can be attributed to the indiscriminate use of chemical pesticides in the hope to enhance crop yield. Modern domestic electronic equipments and gadgets prevalent in almost every household are emitting harmful radiations beyond permissible limit, which may interface with shell formation of eggs and prevent hatching process. Air pollution, in general affects bird population adversely.

Be cautious and vigilant that the ubiquitous and tweeting sparrows as well as other winged friends around your houses to entertain you by their unique and curious habits, may one day disappear from the scenario forever, creating a vacuum if timely conservation methods are not resorted to.


- Mr. AVINASH NIGAM
Director,
Swadesh Sewa Sansthan,
Udaipur