BHOPAL: This is no peacock sanctuary on the India tourism map, but the national bird outnumbers humans in this nondescript village in Neemuch district. Basniya, 80 km from district headquarters, is home to only 400 people, but over 600 peacocks. "They are like our family members," said Bhagirath Nagda, resident of Basniya. "We maintain strict vigil to keep birds away from harm. An eight-member youth brigade is deployed in the villages to ensure their safety. Villagers feed peacocks, but nothing is forced upon the birds. They are part of our village life," said Nagda. Not just the birds, even trees where they rest are protected, he said. 

There around 200 khirni trees where peacocks rest during night. "We have ensured that not even a branch is cut to allow peacocks in comfort zone," he said. These trees are on village panchayat land and fruits are auctioned by panchayat. Sarpanch of Bhagori panchayat, Rameshwar Gujar, said, "Basniya is a small village in our panchayat with 300 voters in a population of 400. But there are over 500-600 peacocks here." Whenever a stranger approaches peacocks or there's a threat from poachers, the vigilante group swings into action. They make swift calls and mobilise villagers. "Process of constructing sheds for peacocks in the village is underway by the panchayat," the sarpanch told TOI. But it's villagers' love for the birds that keeps the peacock nursery pristine.

Source: Times of India (Dated 02 Jan 2015)