Most of us wake up in the morning to the shrieks of push-cart vendors and to the booming of the vehicle horns. But there is a 64-year-old man named Edwin Joseph from Bengaluru starts his day on a different note altogether, he wakes up every morning to the cheery chirps of more than 200 sparrows. He is a retired BEML employee. Joseph has turned his house into a sanctuary for these small birds at Gospel Street in St Thomas Town. The number of these little birds are decreasing from around 25K per sq km three decades ago to less than 50 per sq km today because the city is urbanising rapidly. (Also read: On World Sparrow Day, Let Us Know Some Interesting Facts About The Common House Bird)Also Read - Father-Son Duo Build 14-Feet Tall Statue of PM Modi Using Iron Scrap, to Be Erected in Bengaluru Tomorrow
Joseph is fondly known as “Sparrow Man” in his locality and about two weeks ago he celebrated World Sparrow Day by distributing sweets to his neighbours. As per reports, he said that few of them laughed at him, but he told them that, “Everyone has a day to celebrate. Why not birds? We should also care for them like we do for our family members and fellow humans.” Also Read - Bengaluru: Water Supply to be Affected In THESE Places on Sept 12,13 | Check List of Areas Here
While watching the sparrows feed on boiled rice thrown under a small tree by his wife Sarah on a vacant plot, his love for the birds sparked from that time. Joseph said, “The trees were removed to build a house which I hoped to give on rent and use the rental to lead my post-retirement life.” He also added, “The birds moved to the hibiscus tree and lemon tree in front of my house, but I decided I should do something for these birds. In fact, these two trees have been providing shelter to these birds for the last eight years.” Also Read - Bengaluru Prepares to Tackle Third Covid Wave, 48-bed Pediatric Unit Opened at KSRTC Hospital
His wife Sarah said, “Whenever he is out of town he would call up only to ask about these birds and if they are being fed on time—not about me.” (Also read: #WorldSparrowDay: Twitterati Wish Everyone, Spreads Awareness to Control Environment)
Now he spends all his pension amount on these birds. Joseph’s regular routine is to wake up at 5 am, taking care of the birds and then doing household work. He initially used to feed the sparrows with non-vegetarian food, but the sparrow volunteers asked him no to feed the birds with non-veg foods. And now he feeds them with grains. He is very particular about the birds and about the trees as well where they live. He does not allow people to pluck leaves from the lemon tree. And now even his neighbours support his passion for sparrows.