Kamranga villagers stand as vanguard of endangered birds

Silchar, June 3: When there is serious threat to the very existence of species of birds not only in Barak Valley but also across the state of Assam due to various factors, the villagers of Kamranga, 37 km from here and at a walking distance from Pailapool in the sub-division of Lakhipur of Cachar, have become the vanguard of certain species of birds. A visit to this remote and isolated village located on the bank of Chiri river and in the midst of natural beauty with the foothills of Borail and Manipur in the background greets one with variety of egrets, sparrows, white parrots, mynas among others.
It is a beautiful and rare sight in the rural belt of South Assam which can be developed into a tourist spot. The keenness or eagerness of the villagers to protect the birds and do everything possible for providing them safe refuge among the trees, big and small, and bamboo groves has been well expressed by an elderly person. Uttam Kumar Sharma said, “The birds find our hamlet a safe place to rest and for food. It has become our prime concern how to keep them safe and well protected.” This is the refrain which a visitor can hear among the residents of all ages.
Sharma when asked about their special concern and charm for these avian creatures pointed out, “Our senior most people boast of their pride for making birds safe. According to them, this has been a long tradition though this is quite unknown to the outside world.” Villagers do not want any publicity for that, admitted Sharma. In fact, it is our religion and commitment. He at the same time added to say any one daring to target the birds is simply kept at bay. Villagers in group come out to chase him away. He narrated one incident when the SDPO in the past whom he could identify as Rabha came all the way from Lakhipur with an air-rifle to aim at the birds. He was prevented from his action and persuaded to go back.
It is an everyday sight to see white, black and yellow egrets perched on the branches of trees and among the bamboo groves. It is also a habitat for white parrots and mynas. Significantly, the village with a population of around 200 with 40 families are Manipuris. It might look an aberration, but villagers won’t allow any persons of other tribes or communities with the motive of hunting to enter the periphery of the bird habitats. This is how the non-descript and obscure village has become a unique place of the avian creatures. (Source: SentinelAssam)

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