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Indian village’s self-imposed blackout lasts more than a month… over a bird’s nest!

Source: NewIndianExpress

Residents of a small village in Tamil Nadu unanimously agreed to keep the street lights switched off for over a month, in order to protect a family of robins nesting in the junction box until the hatchlings had flown the nest.

The village that went dark to save a birds nest

For 45 consecutive nights, an unremarkable village in Tamil Nadu’s Sivaganga district remained in dark without street lights, setting a new standard for kindness. The residents of Potthakudi, a village of just 120 houses, unanimously agreed to leave off all 35 street lights in the hamlet to protect the hatchlings of an Indian Robin which had decided to built its nest inside the town’s main electrical switchboard.

He had an arm extended towards the Electricity Board control box in front of his home at Pothakudi village in Sivaganga district, when he saw it: a fluffy nest.
Karuppu Raja stopped in his tracks. He had an arm extended towards the Electricity Board control box in front of his home at Pothakudi village in Sivaganga district, when he saw it: a fluffy nest. Source: TheHindu
The robin had woven its nest deep inside the box, and reaching for the controls meant that it would be startled every time. For bird lover Raja, the answer was clear. The lights stay off. Now he had to convince the other villagers.
Karuppu’s home is a stone’s throw away from the box and he volunteers to turn on the main switch every day as soon as dusk falls. The robin had woven its nest deep inside the box, and reaching for the controls meant that it would be startled every time. For bird lover Raja, the answer was clear. The lights stay off. Now he had to convince the other villagers. Source: TheHindu

The bird and its hatchlings finally left the nest after 45 days and nights

Karuppu Raja has been switching on the street lights at 6 pm every day for over a decade as the switchboard is installed close to his home, and was the first to notice the nest built by the Indian Robin. 

A bird-lover since childhood, Raja took pictures and videos of the nest inside the switchboard and shared it on the village WhatsApp group, seeking the opinion of the villages on how to save the bird and its hatchlings.

“I wrote on WhatsApp that switching off the lights was the only solution because the bird will fly once it realises there is a human touch or contact near its nest. I also told the group that we should save the bird and its hatchlings at any cost,” Raja told The Deccan Herald by phone. 

The villagers went as far as to disconnect the power from the switchboard to the street lights to ensure that the bird and its hatchlings were safe from any electrical current. The bird and its hatchlings finally left the nest after 45 days and nights and the kindly little village got its street lights back again. It is small gestures like these that help restore faith in humanity during these troubled times.

Source: DeccanHerald

The bird and its hatchlings finally left the nest after 45 days and nights and the kindly little village got its street lights back again.
The villagers also disconnected the power from the switchboard to the street lights to ensure that the bird and its hatchlings were safe from electrical current. The bird and its hatchlings finally left the nest after 45 days and nights and the kindly little village got its street lights back again. Source: DeccanHerald
“Her eggs were beautiful…light blue with brown dots,” recalls Karuppu.
“It had chosen our village and I felt we owed it to its family to see that they were safe,” Karuppu told The Hindu. “Her eggs were beautiful…light blue with brown dots,” recalls Karuppu. Source: NewIndianExpress
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