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October 8, 2015

Children Send Postcards to Chief Minister of Telangana; Urge Him to Protect the State Bird

Humane Society International/India launches school awareness campaign to save Palapittas

Humane Society International

  • Children holding up Palapitta awareness campaign posters. HSI

  • HSI/India's Chemudupati Samyukta talks to school children about the Palapitta. HSI

  • School children hold up posters they made for the Palapitta awareness campaign

More than 300 school children wrote postcards to the Chief Minister of Telangana, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, urging him to protect Palapittas (Indian Rollers) from their cruel abuse during Dussehra. They also designed posters imploring the public to celebrate a cruelty-free Dussehra. The activities are part of a Humane Society International/India awareness campaign to save Palapittas.

HSI/India conducted an awareness session for the students highlighting the beauty and ecological importance of Palapittas, and how religious superstition leads to cruelty inflicted upon these protected species. Students were then encouraged to create personal messages to the Chief Minister of Telangana.

Chemudupati Samyukta, campaign manager for wildlife, HSI/India said: “We are excited to launch our awareness program for Palapittas in schools. Children are naturally compassionate towards animals and nature, and it is heartwarming to see a sense of pride among them for Palapittas. We hope to develop them as ambassadors for the protection of the state bird. As harbingers of change, we hope that these children will help put an end to an age old belief that results in the illegal trade and tremendous suffering of these birds.”

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Palapittas are considered a lucky omen during the festival of Dussehra. Poachers typically capture the birds a month before the festival, tie their legs with thread, trim their wings and stick them with glue to prevent them from flying. The birds are often starved up till the day of Dussehra and kept in small cages for public viewing. As a result, most of these birds die in captivity or immediately after being released.

In the past month, the State Forest Department, State Biodiversity Board, Endowment Department and State Animal Welfare Board have committed to support HSI/India’s campaign to stop the display of palapittas during Dussehra. In addition to launching its education program, HSI/India has also made its tip line number, 7674922044, available to the general public to enable the reporting of cruelty incidents involving Palapittas.

Media Contact: Navamita Mukherjee, nmukherjee@hsi.org, 91-9985472760

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