Kurnool: While the world trembles at the prospect of sighting a bat considered the potential carrier of the latest deadly virus, the Nipah virus currently infesting Kerala, the villagers of Madhavaram Podu near Railway Koduru in Kadapa district consider it a good omen and even offer prayers to appease them. For, these winged creatures have brought peace to the village once known for factional killings and violence on the streets.
The bats that live in the trees in the village are god-sent, says Kodanda Ram, a villager, and explains why.
The village was infested with faction fights some 30 years ago, when overnight a swarm of bats arrived and hung around the Amma Devatha tree, where villagers used to offer prayers to the local deity. Soon, they spread to other trees in the village.
No one knows why, but it was believed that these black bats had therapeutic value and children suffering from chronic diseases would be taken to the Amma devatha tree and the excreta of the bats slathered over the child’s body. After a while, the child was given a bath and the cure was effected.
The bat droppings or excreta is believed to be full of germs, highly toxic and has an unpleasant odour.
The strong odour gets stronger as the temperature rises and keeps germs away....