Madurai

Winged visitors preferred over crackers in this village

Collector J. Jayakanthan distributes sweet to villagers at Kollukudipatti in Sivaganga district.  

For a unique reason, Collector J. Jayakanthan honoured a group of villagers, especially youngsters, at Kollukudipatti on the Madurai-Tirupattur highway on Thursday.

Almost close to four decades, the villagers have not burst crackers since they do not want to disturb the birds which arrive at the Vettangudi bird sanctuary during this time every year.

Spread over an area measuring about 17 hectares, Vettangudi bird sanctuary plays host to 217 species of birds which arrive in thousands and roost here for a couple of months.

Elders in the village say they had stopped bursting crackers since 1972. “Not only during Deepavali but even for weddings or funerals we do not burst crackers. In the initial days, the youths felt they would miss out on the joy, but on realising that the noise would chase away the birds, they also refrained from bursting crackers,” one of them recalled.

Girl wins prize

To encourage the youngsters, the Department of Forests conducted a State-level drawing competition on the theme of protecting the environment. This time, Satya Priya, a girl from Keezha Seevalpatti, bagged the third prize, District Forest Officer Rameswaran said.

Birds from France, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Norway and Australia flock here during this time of the year as the weather is pleasant and conducive for breeding.

With the villagers maintaining the calm, the birds stay for a longer duration. Thanking the villagers, Mr. Jayakanthan gave them sweets and wished that the message of conservation reached far and wide from Vettangudi bird sanctuary.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 2:45:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/winged-visitors-preferred-over-crackers-in-this-village/article33086901.ece

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