RAJASTHAN: During this time of the year in the Chittorgarh district, in the bursting fields, several parrots will die and the remains of these birds will be a diet for crows awaiting this opportunity. 

The opium season ended almost a month ago and the pods are removed from the fields. The parrots who were dependent on the poppy seeds from these pods for the past few months will now have face difficult time surviving without their regular dose of addiction, which seems tricky.

As quoted in a media report, an opium farmer in Sukhwara village of Chittorgarh district, Nandkishore Dhakar said, “It is inevitable. This phenomenon has never failed. These birds break open the pods and devour the seeds still drenched in the milky fluid.”

The fluid is a cocktail of alkaloids that can enchain the mind. Soon after, these parrots become addicts and the drug becomes an essential part of their life for their survival.

“These parrots are deprived of their addiction after we cut the pods. They not only lose their appetite, but also start behaving weirdly and lose their will to live. And finally, they just die.”

He explained that this is a sad truth bad these parrots take the first step towards death as they taste the poppy seeds. “Each one of them will die,” Nandkishore said.

For Nandkishore and people like him, this also indicates wastage of costly opium that gets them a big profit. He is one of the 25 farmers in the village who have been able to hold on to his licence granted by the narcotics department to cultivate opium.

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