Shikaries survive by selling peacock feathers
There is a strong belief among the people of all states that peacock feathers would fetch wealth and health for them if they keep them in their houses. It is also believed that these feathers can keep lizards at bay.
Chittoor: There is a strong belief among the people of all states that peacock feathers would fetch wealth and health for them if they keep them in their houses. It is also believed that these feathers can keep lizards at bay.
Naturally, there is a demand for peacock feathers. The Shikaries, a major sect in Schedule Castes are widely confined to selling peacock feathers in southern states particularly in Andhra Pradesh.
There are several tribal families in Nellore district whose main avocation is to procure peacock feathers from distant places like Mumbai and sell them at various religious places.
There is a good demand for the peacock feathers as people with religious sentiment buy them. It is symbolic as Lord Krishna used to wear peacock feather in his crown.
Killing a peacock is prohibited in India. But a Mumbai based notorious gang is said to be the main agency for supplying peacock feathers to the Shikaries belonging to our AP in a secret manner.
Speaking to The Hans India at Kanipakam temple, Siva Mani, a tribal whose main occupation is the sale of peacock feathers admitted that they never hunt for peacocks in the forests or elsewhere, asserting that killing of peacock is prohibited in all places.
“There is Laddu Bhai, a whole sale dealer, residing at Mumbai supplies peacock feathers to us. We go initially to Mumbai and remit the cost in advance.
We have to wait for nearly two weeks at Mumbai until he releases the stock. While bring the peacock feathers in trains, we manage the train checking staff with due payoffs.
It is a risky business and that is why we are earning alow income “he added. His wife Lacchi said that they sell the feathers at pilgrims centers such as Tirumala, Srisailam, Srikalahasthi , Kanipakam and Bhadrachalam where the devotees purchase them on massive scale.
She said that it was a must on their part to invest the amount in advance to Ladduwallah to get their stock.
The business of peacock feathers seems to be very lucrative for these tribals who are uneducated and poor.
It is a million dollar question how Mumbai based Laddu Bhai is able to get such huge quantity of peacock feathers while Maharashtra police say they are enforcing the ban effectively in trade of these feathers.