All through 2012, Sagar Patro would hit the village roads around his Gunthabandha village in coastal Ganjam district, Odisha, on his motorbike, reliving his childhood days. With neighbour Bijendra Majhi riding pillion, Patro would leave at dawn and travel several kilometres a day to villages in nearby blocks, searching for house sparrows.
"Have you seen a gharachatei [house sparrow] here?" Patro would ask the villagers he encountered. Many were baffled by the query and most were dismissive of his quest, but Patro was undeterred, he told IndiaSpend. Soon enough, he and Majhi managed to spot at least five sparrows each in the villages of Baghajhari and Biribadi.
House sparrows are in the category of least concern on the International Union