Poor response to 'save sparrow' cry

Poor response to 'save sparrow' cry

 “I want more people from Bangalore to join in the effort of saving sparrows”, said Mohammad Dilawar who has devoted his life in saving the once ubiquitous house sparrows. 

Dilawar, who was in the City to confer the World Sparrows’ Day award to three persons, was disappointed with the poor response.

There has been at least one recipient of the award from Bangalore every year since it was instituted in 2010. Moreover, the City has the highest number of supporters for the cause. However, when it came to doing anything substantial for the cause of saving these winged creatures, it lagged far behind. 

“At present Bangalore has only 49 data points whereas Delhi has 170. I am, however, hoping that more from the City will be interested soon,” said Dilawar.

An individual is simply required to monitor the various numbers and kinds of birds in his vicinity in these data points and collect the information.

Dilawar, however, does not want conservation of sparrows to go the same way as that of tigers.

“The tiger being an exotic animal, everyone wants to become tiger conservationist. It has come to such an extent that there are more tiger conversationists than tigers themselves. I don’t want people to become sparrow conservationists just because I am doing it or just because it is in vogue.”

What Dilawar wants, therefore, is for anyone to be involved in any effort of conservation of nature, be it small or big, which is the reason why the World Sparrows’ Day awards were instituted.

Award winners

The award is conferred on ordinary people who take time out of their daily jobs and lives to do extraordinary work in the field of conservation and sustainability.  Till this year, award for the Sparrows’ Day, which falls on March 20, was only symbolic.

This year it will come with a purse of Rs 50,000, sponsored by a software firm, Wipro.
Aaabid Surti from Mumbai, Arvind Mishra from Bihar and Saleem Hameed from Bangalore were selected for the award this year.  Aaabid Suri was involved in conserving water by repairing water leakages in and around his neighbourhood.


Mohammad Dilawar and his small team, comprising a few family members, have established a system named, Common Bird Monitoring Programme (CBDM), a year back that regularly compiles information on the number and the kind of birds. This system has been extended to other parts of the country and the results are still to be compiled.

“Countries such as the UK and the USA have a very good system of monitoring, and what we need from people is for more of them to enrol for the programme,” said Dilawar.