Bird-loving hamlet chooses to observe quiet Deepavali
By Kaushik Kannan | Published: 28th October 2013 11:26 AM |
Although Virudhunagar district is considered a hub of cracker-manufacturing, residents of a small hamlet Sankarapandiapuram near here will refrain from bursting firecrackers during Deepavali. The villagers say they make a departure from the tradition in order to preserve the ecosystem.
According to sources, for the last 30 years, birds like storks and pelicans have been migrating to the village to nest in the trees located close to the village tank during October and often stay there till April. The villagers said they do not want to disturb the birds during this period.
Though a drought-like situation has affected the migration of birds in the last two years, the villagers stick to their decision not to burst crackers.
Thirupathi, a villager, said the birds built nests and breed on the trees near the village Oorani. He said after setting up the nests, the birds would go in search of fish in the nearby the Vembakottai and Kolvarpatti dams.
They would lay eggs in the nests and once the eggs hatch the birds will leave the nest and the hatchlings by April. This has been a routine activity every year, Thirupathi added.
“This is a pleasant period for all of us, who enjoy the movement of birds between our village and the dams. Many children spend their evenings near the tank counting the birds that nest in the trees,” said Rengasamy, a village elder, adding that the villagers advise the children as well to follow suit so that the tradition will be passed on to the next generation.
However, in order to appease curious children, some parents buy low-intensity crackers for them but with a rider: they are asked to go outside the village to burst them, Rengasamy said.