Siberian birds have been flocking to this tiny hamlet for years and have proved to be a boon for the villagers, who believe the birds bring rain in their wake. However, for reasons ranging from hacking of tamarind trees to the drying up of water in the lake, the birds have stopped coming for the past two years.
The migratory Siberian birds usually fly in January to the village of Chintapalli - a small village which is located 14 kms away from Khammam district in Telangana - and leave in the month of July after building nests and breeding their young ones. The tamarind trees in the village provide a perfect abode for these birds while fishes from the āChintapalli Lakeā are their source of food.
Chintapalli which is known for its tamarind trees had over 100 of them over a decade ago. But two years ago, villagers who were upset with the foul smell generated by the birds when they dropped food, decided to chop these tamarind trees (Chinta Chetlu). As a result, the birds stopped coming to āChintapalliā from the past two years, due to which villagers believe that it has brought bad luck to their village as there have been no rains in the village for the past two years. Also, the scarcity of water in āChintapalli lakeā and nearby areas is another reason why birds are avoiding the village.
In January this year, the villagers were pleasantly surprised to see the birds coming back to their village. Villagers saw the arrival of the birds as a good omen as it rained soon after and they also believe that their visit will enhance their harvest.
Venkateshvarulu, a 63-year-old villager told The News Minute, āI donāt remember exactly since when these birds started coming to our village because I observed them in my childhood but I remember only one thing that we share a very long association with the migratory birds which have been coming here for decadesāā.
Another villager, 65-year-old Nagaiah told The News Minute, āāDue to foul smell that emanates when the birds drop their food, a few villagers have chopped the chintha chettulu (Tamarind Trees). From then on, the birds have stopped coming to our village. And we all believe that these birds are lucky for us as whenever they come, we get good rains in the village. Many of the villagers who chopped the trees now regret doing so as the birds havenāt come for the past two years and there have been no rains during this period.ā
He added, āThe government should do something to protect the birds as there is no water in the āChintapalli Lakeā and nearby areas. Lots of tourists from Hyderabad and other places used to come to visit the place only because of the birds, but now the footfall is declining as the bird numbers are dwindiling day by day. As there is no water in the Chintapalli lake, the birds are managing their food and fishes from a nearby lake in āPalleruā. We also requested the collector to do something for these birds when he visited the village the last time.ā