Pollution, rapid urbanisation, lack of food and a place to nest has led to decline in the number of sparrows in cities. “Matchbox-styled houses and apartments have made it difficult for birds to build a nest. We did a little research on their nesting pattern to find out how we can help in bringing back the sparrows,” says Diksha Thapar, president, RAC Austin Institutes, RID 3070. “We wanted to do more than just put out a pot of water and food in our balcony for the winged visitors,” she adds.
Efforts to place artificial bird nests at parks and places with green cover in Jalandhar have been started by the club. “This is a conscious effort to create an atmosphere to revive the visit of birds,” says DRRE Deepika Sharma who helped source the nests from roadside vendors. “The vendors are from underprivileged backgrounds and live on the footpath where they sell these nests. This project has helped them earn a living too,” she adds.
The nests are made with broken sticks, dry leaves and husk. Recently the club set up 30 handmade nests at Pratap Bagh, a park in Jalandhar. A tree plantation drive was also carried out at the park. Club members, along with Zonal Rotaract chair Rtn Ajit Paul Singh Naphrey, planted 70 saplings.
Deepika is also actively promoting Rotaract in local colleges “at every opportunity I get. Rotaract has transformed my life and it can do the same for other individuals.” Recently she addressed the students of Hans Raj Mahila Vidyalaya, Jalandar, and they were “excited to know that Rotaract clubs raise funds to implement service projects locally while giving us an international platform to learn new skills and meet like-minded people. They want to start their own club!” she smiles. n