India: KBC winner launches campaign to save endangered house sparrows


He has distributed around 5,500 nests so far since the campaign launched in 2019 in the East Champaran district where he is from. Among them, the sparrows came to stay in 1,050 nests bringing joy to the villagers.

“Nature has given us many gifts, but we are less concerned about preserving them. It is our moral responsibility to work for the conservation of the environment,” Kumar recently told the media. He said rapid urbanization was proving disastrous as people now neglected the gifts of nature and cared only for themselves.

The KBC winner said he was happy to see people approaching him to look for wooden nests. “It’s a very positive development and I’m glad it’s turning into a mass campaign,” Kumar said.

He designed two types of nests – one block for a single pair of sparrows and nine blocks for the large family. Initially, he sets up a one-block nest, but when the sparrow lays eggs and his family starts to increase or more birds start to visit the nests, he sets up a nine-block nest. He claims to have spent 1.1 million rupees to build such nests for the birds.

The researchers said the population of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in India has shown a declining trend over the past decades. In many places like Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Karnataka, a steep decline has been observed by bird watchers.

According to a recent study by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the population of house sparrows in Andhra Pradesh has declined by up to 88% and in other states like Kerala, Gujarat and Rajasthan it is down. dropped to 20%. In the coastal areas of India, the population has dropped by 70-80%.

“The main cause of the decline of this species remains unidentified, but it is thought that the unavailability of nests due to modernization, construction and deforestation may cause their decline. Other causes could also include high use of insecticides and competition with other species,” the researchers said. In addition, modern houses leave no space for species to build their nests.

Kumar, who was too poor to own a TV, became an overnight celebrity after winning Rs 50 million on the game show “Kaun Banega Crorepati” (Who Wants to Be a Millionaire). Prior to winning the jackpot, Kumar was employed as a computer operator in a government office in Bihar with a monthly salary of Rs 6,000.


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