Erode, Tamil Nadu:
As the boom of firecrackers filled the air across the country celebrating Deepavali with gusto, seven villages in Erode district of Tamil Nadu decided to mark the festival with just lights, and no sound, in a gesture considerate of the winged inhabitants of the bird sanctuary nearby.
The villages are located around Vadamugam Vellode, 10 kilometres from Erode where the bird sanctuary is situated.
Thousands of local bird species and migratory birds from other regions visit the sanctuary between October and January to lay eggs and hatch them.
As Diwali usually falls in the month of October or November, the more than 900 families living around the bird sanctuary took the decision to save the birds and not scare them off by bursting crackers.
They have been following this conservation approach for the past 22 years.
The villagers said that during Deepavali (Diwali), they buy their children new clothes and allow them to only burn sparklers, and not burst crackers.
This year as well, the villages of Sellappampalayam, Vadamugam Vellode, Semmandampalayam, Karukkankattu Valasu, Pungampadi and two other villages upheld the respectful tradition of a silent Deepavali.
As the families joyfully celebrated Deepavali in their own way, thousands of birds remained safe and blissfully unaware at the sanctuary, with no incident reported on Saturday and Sunday.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)