Unless you come from that state, it is unlikely you would have ever heard of a small village, Kokrebellur, in Maddur taluk of Karnataka. Named after ‘painted storks’, this small village could teach us, the the educated and literate urbanites a real lessons of life. At a time when we are seeing dwindling number of house sparrows from cities, this village is nurturing all kinds of birds, even though they know that these birds harm their crops.
Right in the backyard of these villagers, there are nests of pelicans and storks and many kinds of rare birds. Every tree around the village holds scores of birds and in May, the time when new borns learn to fly, the village is filled with sounds of chirping birds and flapping wings. The villagers treat these birds as a part of their family and have also created a small area for wounded birds to rest. Birds are so friendly here that they even allow you to go very close to them. Today, thanks to the villagers, this small village is one of the 21 breeding sites in India and the villagers consider these birds to be a part of their heritage which they need to preserve and nurture. Many look at the existence of these birds as a sign of prosperity and good fortune – the more birds you breed, the luckier you get!
These birds do cause crop damage but the Karnataka Govt compensates these villagers with a certain sum of money for their loss on account of hosting these birds. Also, villagers make some money with the influx of tourists. An unusual bonding of man and birds – a lesson probably there for all us.