Soothsayers protest as parakeets taken away

Parakeet astrologers are a regular sight at Vizag such as RK Beach, Kailasagiri, Tenneti Park and VUDA park.

Published: 15th May 2016 03:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th May 2016 03:58 AM   |  A+A-


VISAKHAPATNAM: A special drive undertaken by forest officials in this city has brought bad luck to tribal soothsayers who foretell the future of people using parakeets.

Ever since the crackdown started two months ago, fortune tellers are protesting that their vocation is an age-old family tradition and depriving them of their parakeets is an assault on their livelihhood.

Soothsayers from Araku and other tribal areas of Visakhapatnam go round the city carrying these birds in little cages. If a customer seeks their service, they spread their cards on the earth and let the bird out of the cage. The bird picks up a card, based upon which the fortune-teller predicts the future for the customer.

Parakeet astrologers are a regular sight at busy intersections of Vizag such as RK Beach, Kailasagiri, Tenneti Park and VUDA park. They are also popular on the street outside the Legislative Assembly in Hyderabad. Forest officials say using parakeets as a soothsayer’s tool is illegal as per the law. “Under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, caging of birds and harming them for commercial purposes is a punishable offence. But before taking legal action, we counsel the soothsayers to set the birds free. But action will be taken if they continue to keep the birds in captivity,” said divisional forest officer (DFO) B Dhanunjaya Rao. “Fortune-telling is our hereditary profession. It’s the only source of bread and butter for me,” said Rama Rao, a soothsayer from Guntur.


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