Friday, March 19, 2010

Today is International House Sparrow Day

On the 20th of March, the existance of the common house sparrow is celebrated the world over. We all have a soft spot for this little bird. Sparrows are cheeky! They don't mind at all being around us humans (especially if we are owners of a 'grain' or kirana store!).
We have always taken this cheerful little bird for granted. Now a terrible thing is happening. The house sparrow is slowly disappearing and is actually struggling to survive. In Mumbai, we know the problem - massive depletion of greenary, constant construction work and road building going on, makes it very difficult for this little bird to locate suitable nesting sites.
Sparrows do make pathetic attempts inside buildings, putting together untidy nests in electric boxes and so on. Of course, we know what happens next - the nest is simply thrown out and the hopeful pair have no place for their eggs or their off-spring.
How can we help our sparrow friends ?
Modern roofs are not sparrow friendly. We need to provide them with other alternatives to nest. A nest box in a sheltered place in the building, would be helpful even though sparrows often take a year before 'adopting' them.
Young sparrows need lots of insects to feed on, so insect-friendly gardens and areas of open soil (free of the usual cement cover), may help to slow the decline of this endearing little bird.
In Maharashtra, there is a young man who has worked ceaselessly to make things better for the sparrow. His name is Dilawar Mohammed and he is such a tireless crusader for the cause, that Time Magazine named him Hero of the Environment in 2008. For more information on how you can help save and nurture this cheerful little bird, go to his web site

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Accenture Employees Visiting IDA Deonar

Want to know the secret of happiness? It's holding and playing with a small puppy! These young employees from Accenture, enjoyed themselves on their conducted tour around the IDA Deonar Centre. They met all our lovely inmates and particularly enjoyed themselves with the young ones. The young lady in the last picture is almost surrounded by the fat puppy brigade, and Gunner, the large pup at the side of her is singing his head off! All of them just love to have company, especially the human kind!

The First IDA School Programme

The IDA team visited a school in Bandra and got to meet two divisions of 5th Std kids. This is our recent venture - spreading awareness with regard to animal issues among school children. We went well armed with jigsaw puzzles, quiz games, interesting props and lots of information to give to all the kids involved. All of them enjoyed the session and through some noisy, and sometimes boisterous interaction, we managed to 'educate' them about animal companions and their needs and stray dogs and how many things they need as well. We are looking forward to carrying out many such programmes and will be preparing to deal with as many animal issues as we can.