Indian police are now training pigeons to serve as messengers during natural disasters when communication is lost. This initiative harks back to the era of British rule in the Indian subcontinent when messenger pigeons were used in a police station located in the state of Odisha, creating a memorable tradition that continues to this day.
Inspector General of Police, Cuttack District, Satish Kumar, explained that they have procured around 100 Belgian Homer pigeons specifically for this purpose, ensuring their availability for future generations. This particular breed of pigeons is capable of flying at speeds of up to 55 kilometers per hour and covering distances of 800 kilometers. These pigeons have been successfully fulfilling their role for the past 40 years.
The significance of pigeons in messaging became evident during a devastating storm that struck Odisha in the final year of the previous century. Due to the lack of ground connectivity and modern technology at the time, pigeons played a crucial role in relaying messages, highlighting their importance in emergency situations.
By reintroducing and training pigeons for messaging purposes, the Indian police aim to leverage their unique capabilities to ensure effective communication during natural disasters. These birds have proven their reliability over time, and their inclusion in emergency response strategies showcases their enduring value in critical situations.