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Dwindling crow population hampers Hindu ritual

The funerary rites of a dead person is only complete when the person performing the last rites pays offering to a cow, a dog and crow. There are slight variations in this ritual. In South India, especially in Kerala, the offering is only made to a crow. As of now, there is no dearth in the crow population in Kerala.

But the situation is different in several cities in North India. Cows and dogs are available readily but not crows. So people pays offering to crow idols.

Zeenews reports about the dwindling population of crows in Allahabad:
"As a ritual for the ancestors we are supposed to feed a cow, a dog and a crow. Cow and dog are easily available but we could not find a crow. So we had to observe the tradition with the idol of a crow. That will fulfill the absence in the ritual," said Gautam Chandra Golcha, who performed the rituals with the idol of the crow.
The reason:
"Crows are dwindling because they feed on the animals who feed on the crops which are tended with harmful pesticides. So it is the poison of the fertilizers which is taking a toll on them," said D.N. Shukla, professor of botany in Allahabad University to Zeenews.
The Parsi community in Mumbai is also facing a similar situation with the fall in vulture population.