Ever heard of wedding of sparrows? No, but this is what was done in Uttar Pradesh in India to spread awareness about the rapid decline in the number of these common birds. Not only this, in UP and Punjab birdhouses are being put up by people voluntarily to stall the decrease in the number.
The wedding of two sparrows happened in Banda villager in Jhansi on Sunday. It was a proper big, fat wedding for the birds. All the rituals were carried out and even the ‘kanyadaan’ was done!
Villagers named the groom as Pyarelal and bride as Nanki.
According to a report, teacher Ram Prasad adopted the groom and village head Yashwant Patel along with his wife Sumanlata adopted the bride. At the feast thrown by Patel, the entire village was invited.
The report added that local forest officals along with other authorities were also present. After the wedding ceremony, the villagers distributed sparrow houses to all the villagers and they were educated to its usage and benefits for the sparrows.
In another initiative, the UP government is planning an awareness programme of offering awards to a person who installs a birdhouse at home and clicks a picture with it. The best picture might also find a place in a book that the government is planning to bring out on its efforts towards saving sparrows.
This sensitization programme for sparrow-conservation has been launched on a massive scale in the state. The idea is to reach out to school children as they can spread the word in their homes and among their peers.
In Punjab, people are taking a similar step voluntarily. In villages of Barnala and Sangrur districts, hundreds of wooden birdhouses have been put on tree and electricity poles.
This trend was introduced by Kattu village resident Bara Singh, who read about endangered birds.
According to a news report, he said, “We have put up around 500 birdhouses over the past two years. We would rarely see a sparrow earlier, but they are a common sight in the village now.”
Around a decade ago, sparrows used to be everywhere in north India. But they are becoming extinct at a very fast pace, mainly due to use of pesticides in crops. Other factors being blamed are mobile towers and radiation.