Nested interests

Jan 17, 2013, 00:59 IST | Hassan M Kamal

A group of 20 bird lovers has organised an artificial nest building competition to create awareness about how the city's beautification has resulted in birds being made homeless

The idea of building nests for birds appears strange but a group of bird lovers, who call themselves Saad Pratisad, feel that this might be the only way left if we want to see more than just crows and pigeons in Mumbai. The group, comprising a small total of 20 members has organised what is a first-of-its-kind competition, titled Kritrim Gharti (artificial nest competition).

Some of the handmade nests for birds in the city. PIC/ Pradeep Dhivar

Promoted mostly through Facebook and word of mouth, the competition has appealed to students in city schools and colleges to come up with creative nests for birds. Sandeep Sawant, who is heading the competition, says, “The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) shreds the trees as part of its beautification process, but while doing so it also destroys bird nests, which are built with so much care by birds. We will be planting these nests on trees all over the city.”

Sawant says that Saad Pratisad members, which has its wings across the city, has been spreading the message throughout Mumbai — from Panvel to CST and Virar to Churchgate. “We want people to understand that the city is not just for us. People should apply their mind and help give back homes to the birds made homeless by our selfishness,” says Santosh Satam, co-ordinator of the Borivli chapter as he shows us some of the nests submitted by some of the participants.

Surprisingly, Sawant has been receiving calls from Mumbaikars asking for nests, ever since they announced the competition. “So, people are willing to help, and we are also looking at this as a platform to bring them together and share the concern,” adds Sawant.

Next step
The next step of the competition will be to persuade the BMC to plant trees that also bear fruits and not just stand along the roads as decorative props. “The trees that have been planted don’t bear fruit or flowers; as a result, these make survival difficult for the birds. Not all birds feed on grains or human food. They need flowers and fruits that grow on trees. If we want our skies and cityscape to have more than just crows and pigeons, we need to add more fruit-bearing trees,” he emphasises. The last day for official entries was Thursday, but the organisation will accept nests till Saturday, on the spot of the exhibition in Goregaon.

On January 20, 9 am to 6 pm
Last date for submission: January 19
At Pragnya Bhodhini School,
Jay Prakash Nagar, Goregaon (E).
Call 9892292825

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