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Sunday, March 28, 2010

The innovation that was done fifteen years ago ...

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The world House Sparrow Day, March 20 has just passed. Thanks to the organisations that joined hands for a noble cause and initiated international awareness and conservation campaign for the protection of the small house bird that had been living with human civilization since the remote past or probably since the emergence of the human civilization.

I wish to thank Md. E. Dilawar of BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) who has been working for the cause of sparrow conservation for more than five years and congratulations to him for becoming head of the Government sponsored three year long  project for sparrow conservation being implemented by India’s fore running organisation that is, and that has been attached with a number of good names since its formation. Again I hereby wish to congratulate Mr. E. Dilawar for receiving the award from Time for the year 2008.

Hard effort and tiresome researches had once already been done on the conservation of birds under a project entitled “Bird Nesting Project” by Dr. M.P.Mishra (Mangla Prasad Mishra) of Ranchi, then an expert on environment under the registered but small  N.G.O. named Prithvi foundation, based at Ranchi. Dr. Mangla Prasad Mishra (the author) had worked hard to research on nesting plans and designs of nests of different bird -species and nests of different styles and shapes were hanged in the local CCL and CMPDI campuses for attracting birds of different species. The project was a grand success and different media on local level and PTI on National level had flashed the news story in 1995. A number of news papers on local and national level had printed the story with deep interest though the matter remained uncovered by the environment friendly news paper of India – The Hindu. Dr. M.P.Mishra was then the president of the People for Animals, the Delhi based NGO for the protection of animals. Currently, Dr. Mishra is a nominee for the committee for prevention of cruelty to animals under the Ministry of Environment and Forest, though he has not received even an ID card to that effect in spite of his contribution to the cause of environment and animals.

Happy with the efforts of Dr. Mishra, Smt. Maneka Gandhi, the Chair Person of PFA had tried to popularize the work by Dr. Mishra but except the PTI coverage and few scenes on Television, Dr. Mishra’s research fell into deaf years and no one either from the government side or from the other side came to encourage him. The project could run on local level with the financial help to Prithvi foundation  from the local Jain community who love living beings, and yes CCL and CMPDI too could help a little to the organisation. But the novel project remained neglected by all and even by those who were really concerned with the environment and conservation.

A researcher in the field of Phytopathology and environment and an author of more than twenty books on Environmental Issues, Dr. Mishra is going on working in the fields of animal welfare and environment for his self content . An innovation thus  remained suppressed for  fifteen long years, but thank God some noble people finally got attracted after 15 long years by the work of Mr. Md. E. Dilawar at least, whose interview was printed by India’s Environment Friendly News Paper in March 2010 and, though late the Time finally came down to honor a hero, though not first in the field.

The above story reveals that there is late with the Gods but there is no injustice at all. Some say that -justice late is justice denied. But here as I am referring to God and not to any human being- I can say that the justice has not been denied, though it took quite 15 long years, or numerous birds might had been saved and protected so far. The conservation had started long ago when the Silent Spring was published. But the award giving organisations and our ministries wake up rather late, and this is the trend why new and original researches have been facing severe negligence in this country.

 The inference also comes out that some type of encouragement, big banners, and high connections yield too much. Lack of circulation also has been a big hurdle as happened with Charles Darwin and Mendel. But Dr. Mishra’s research that is the Bird Nesting Project did not remain uncovered, may be that the so called scholars and award giving agencies have some of their own preferences. See for yourself the visual and the scanned copies of the news reports seen and published in 1995. Dr. M.P.Mishra is a  teacher by profession and being associated with a small organisation at that time, he and his important work might have been subjects of overlooking or under some type of under estimation.See for yourself the news papers’ clippings published in 1995, 15 years ago and photo of Dr. M.P. Mishra working on the nest design for some bird other than sparrow in the current image. One thing contrary to Md. E. Dilawar’s statement published in the interview (The Hindu, March 14) is that - birds never accept artificial nests as these are hanged. Rather, they don’t believe it for some days. Later, they bring their own nesting materials as per their preferences which vary from species to species and design their own nest inside the wooden nest used by a human being. Yes, see down the image and news paper clippings and try to compare Dr. M.P.Mishra's photograph  of that time with the current one given here.

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