The environmentalists are concerned about the absence of mi-gratory birds at the Vedanthangal sanctuary near Kancheepuram, but for the scores of children in the village, it could not have been better. After a gap of several years, they burst crackers outside their homes, without worrying if it would scare away any winged visitors.
“The children were happy that they could burst firecrackers in their village after 48 years. Usually, we will go to our relatives’ house so that the birds will not be disturbed. We stay away from cracker on any occasion, including temple festivals,” said Sasi Kumar, a resident of Vedanthangal. “This year the children happily celebrated Deepavali in our village but we adults could not do that,” he added.
S Subaiah, forest ranger of Vedanthangal said that on October 16 last year, the sanctuary was opened for visitors and closed only on June 10. “We were planning to open it in October this year but couldn’t. Hopefully, the birds will return after some brief spell of rains,” he said.