Arya Vinod, a ninth grade student from Shornur is all ears for a sweet voice that is coming from the sylvan surrounding the river at Puzhakkalpadam. Arya asks, “Isn’t that the cry of a Koel?” Immediately Annamma Devasia, a resident of Mukkam, clears Arya’s doubt. “Yes, that is a black Koel!”
Arya and Annamma were at the Kerala Forest Research Centre for two days, and they were present there to take part in a workshop for bird watching. Just like Arya and Annamma, there were nearly 70 young girls and housewives who visited Enammavu Bund and nearby areas in Puzhakkalpadam in search of different varieties of birds. Women from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod took part in this workshop.
M. S. Jaya, District Collector of Thrissur, came to witness the workshop and that increased the spirits of the womenfolk. The womenfolk ensured that they spoke to the collector about dwindling numbers in bird species over the last few years. The Scientist from KFRI, Mr. Mohammad Kunji was heading the camp. 2 day classes were taken by experts including Dr. K. Mohandas, Dr. V. S. Vijayan, Dr. Lalitha Vijayan and Dr. P. S. Easa.
Annamma and her Love for Birds at 80
Annamma spoke about different trees that can be grown in homes in order to attract birds. Annamma asserts from her own experience that if you grow Beech tree, Drumstick, Papaya, Guava, or Palm tree at home, it can attract birds and they in turn make your home look beautiful.
Learning and practicing native medicine is what thrills Annamma who is also called as Chettiyamma. That is her main area of interest. Annamma learned lessons on native curatives and medicines from her grandfather. Now, at 80, Annamma is passing on lessons that she has learnt over the years to the younger generations. She has taken classes on native medicines at many places including nature health centers, agricultural departments, Providence College in Calicut, and Mercy College in Palakkad.
Story of a 14 year old Bird Lover
The story of Arya, a ninth grade student, truly mesmerized the women who were present at the workshop. Arya Vinod, who is the daughter of Vinod and Padmaja from Pathiripala Nagaripuram in Palakkad, has witnessed over 210 species of birds already and she shared her experiences with the womenfolk.
Arya took classes on ‘Bird Watching for Students’. This 14-year-old became passionate about bird watching during the last 2 years. She has already witnessed 210 varieties of bird species and 50 different species of butterflies. Arya has also photographed nearly 120 varieties of birds. This young girl also had an opportunity to take classes on bird watching at the Walayar Forest Training Center.
For Arya, who has visited almost all the bird sanctuaries and reserve forests in Kerala, bird watching is all about excitement and happiness.