Published: 19th October 2017
Keeping it green, few Tamil Nadu villages celebrate Diwali in silence respecting a decade-old pact to protect birds, bats
In an act of empathy towards winged creatures, several villages in Tamil Nadu embraced awareness and harmony and celebrated Diwali without bursting firecrackers to avoid scaring birds, bats
In a striking example of empathy towards winged creatures, several villages in Tamil Nadu embraced awareness and harmony and celebrated Diwali without bursting firecrackers to avoid scaring birds and bats in their areas. A pact that began almost two decades ago, several villages across the State observed a silent Diwali, as has been custom for 18 years.
For a long time the people of Koothankulam village in Tirunelveli district, which has a bird sanctuary, have avoided bursting firecrackers during the festival. Interestingly, they also avoid using loudspeakers in places of worship or during family functions out of concern for the birds. A variety of birds like the flamingo, pelican, spoonbill, painted stork, egret, duck, tern and ibis visit the sanctuary's lake where several migratory birds also arrive.
Similarly, the people of Vavval Thoppu in Salem, Perambur, a village near the temple town of Seerkazhi in
Nagapattinam and Vishar near Kancheepuram refrained from bursting firecrackers so as to not scare bats in their areas. They say the decision to abstain from bursting firecrackers was taken so that bats and birds do not get scared.
The people of Vadamugam, Vellode and six other villages near the Vellode birds sanctuary in Erode celebrated the festival yesterday sans firecrackers to support birds for the 18th year in a row. The villagers stuck to their decision of avoiding firecrackers though the lake in the sanctuary is bereft of migratory birds as the water body is almost dry. White pelicans from countries like Australia and New Zealand usually visit the lake during September, October, and November.
Kuppanna Gounder, 65, recalled that led by elders, 18 years ago, eight villages took the decision of not bursting firecrackers to help save migratory and local birds that flock the sanctuary. Only sparklers and toy guns were used by children, he said.