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After CM, President joins sparrow conservation efforts

Hindustan Times, New Delhi, 4th April, 2013

After brightly-coloured nests and boxes were recently put up at chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s residence to attract sparrows, the Rashtrapati Bhawan has also shown interest in getting the bird back to Lutyens’ Delhi.

President Pranab Mukherjee invited activists of Nature Forever Society (of India), which launched World Sparrow Day in 2010, and discussed plans to revive the sparrow population.

“The President has extended his support. The conservation project needs awareness. We want policies favourable for conservation and reverse the trend of government showing concern only for big animals such as the tiger,” NFS founder Mohammed Dilawar said.

“Delhi has been proactive towards conservation of house sparrow and is one of the leading cities in the common bird monitoring of India (CBMI), which started a year ago,” Dilawar said. Monitoring will help create a distribution map and effectively execute conservation plans.

The NFS also explained to the President how the CBMI is helping in collecting vital data regarding the bird’s population. The Delhi government notified sparrow as Delhi’s state bird in October last year.

“We are creating special ‘sparrow corners’ in about 2,000 schools and holding expert lectures for students. Teachers are also being trained in this effort,” said BC Sabata of Delhi’s environment department.