In order to safeguard the birds that come to Hirakud Reservoir during their breeding and migration seasons, Govindpur village in the Indian state of Odisha has declared itself to be a “Birds Village.”
Residents of the Lakhanpur wildlife range village, which is next to Hirakud Lake in Bargarh district, have pledged to maintain the region clean for the birds that come.
Under the direction of the Hirakud wildlife division, the residents have taken the initiative.
A forest official said the involvement of the villagers will create a sense of ownership among them to protect the birds.
In a meeting, the two neighbouring villages of Tamdei and Ramkhol also vowed to support bird protection.
The official said all houses in these villages will have wall paintings of the colourful birds like the Redcrested Pochard, Moorhen, and Skimmer.
The Hirakud Division has built adequate trash cans for the purpose, but the neighbourhood residents nevertheless make an effort to keep the area clean.
The Hirakud Lake will become a Ramsar site in 2022, which is likely to draw a lot of tourists and photographers to the region.
Every year, more than 2 lakh birds travel to Hirakud Reservoir for breeding and remain there for six months. Every year in October, migratory birds of roughly 100 species visit the 746 sq. km. reservoir.
Visitors to these three villages for picnics, boating, and bird viewing come from Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and districts in Odisha, including Jharsuguda, Bolangir, Sonepur, and Sambalpur, as well as inhabitants from the Bargarh districts.
Many photographers too come here to capture images of temples submerged in Hirakud reservoir and the wildlife of Debrigarh Sanctuary who come down to drink water, another forest official said.
The official said that signage from Chhattisgarh and in neighbouring districts will soon be installed for directions to guide tourists.
The work on the dustbins, signboards, and wall paintings has already begun.
The official said books and printed material on birds and the Hirakud Lake will be distributed among the villagers by the division in the next six months.