The songs of sparrows are missing from the city of Bengaluru from over a decade now, and it is a sign that this bird is vanishing from the city. This could be due to radiation coming from mobile towers, excess pollution caused by industries and vehicles, and destruction of their natural habitat and according to environmentalist, this is an indication for severe ecological disaster Bengaluru is heading towards.

 

The IT boom may be boon for job seekers and real estate sector in the city, but all these rapid development has come at a price which is an impending ecological disaster.

 

"From asthma, swine flu, dengue, kidney ailment and cancer, all have doubled in recent years due to change in the environment. Mortality and migration of these little birds is an indication of such pollution of the environment. But, the authorities and leaders are ignoring this warning, and backing unmindful development which will further worsen the situation," said Environmentalist and Parks Committee Chairperson Dr Yellapa Reddy.

 

He further added once upon a time, Bengaluru was suitable for growing about 70% of grass species like paddy, ragi, maize and corn in abundance and these were the food for the birds. "Today, the Bengaluru District has been declared as non-agriculture land and a place where epidemic can break out anytime due to severe ecological damage. This is a shame," he added. 

 

The presence of sparrows is a symbol of the healthy atmosphere. Clean water, food grains without chemical, native trees and humans with a heart for other species ensured the survival of home sparrows which are missing now.

 

"A song of the sparrow is better than a mobile ringtone.  But as the native trees were cut and the vegetation was reduced the birds lost their share of insects from these trees. This apart, the women who use to sit outside and clean the grains was another source of food for the sparrows. The birds use to help humans in clearing insects from their farms, but the people have only destroyed the social setup by falling for money and greed," said Mohammed Dilawar, National Award Winner for Sparrow Conservation.

 

The new buildings have come up in Bengaluru drastically in a short span of time. The buildings are being built either on farm fields or by replacing the old homes. The new buildings do not have cavities where these little birds can nest. The apartment complexes have closed windows and birds cannot enter the homes.  The increase of mobile towers and air pollution has made impossible for these birds to live. 

 

In 2011, when Delhi Government declared sparrow to be the state bird of the capital, the environmentalists and conservationists in the city got a real boost, and they are planning to intensify their awareness drive by conducting world sparrow day on March 20. 

 

"Bamboo nest boxes, waterpots are given to residents in Bengaluru during world sparrow day. NGOs and government agencies are also being sensitised and roped in to spread the message about saving the house birds by planting native tree saplings and keeping bird feeds on top of their homes," said Dilawar.