From gamblers to techies, the cockfighting industry in Andhra Pradesh has an interesting story to tell and you have to read it all and know it all. 

The towns of Rampa, Seesali, Ai Bhimavaram and more are quite busy on the day of Bhogi. It is the day when these places will witness cockfighting, which is an illegal affair where everyone involved will place bets on two or more gamecocks as they battle it out in a close encounter. 

Who takes part in this activity?

One cannot say for sure who would and who would not take part in this activity. However, there is a certain group of individuals who will always turn up and the general term to classify them will be ‘gamblers’. Coming from districts such as Guntur, Krishna and more, these gamblers push forward the activity and make it all the more intense.

They stay in lodgings for over three days and spend their money on cockfights, Indian card games like Andar Bahar  and various other such activities. While cockfighting was banned in 2014 and upheld in 2018, the activity carries on regardless of all the bans and restrictions.

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And during Sankranti, cockfighting in Vijayawada got a whole different touch as a group of IT professionals looked into breeding Aseel, which is a rooster breed famous for its fighting skills. Viewing high profits, these young professionals came forward to do and complete the task. 

Hence, you can’t say who will take part in this activity and who wouldn’t. 

The Open Grounds of Ai Bhimavaram

Among all of the prominent places where cockfighting is famous, Ai Bhimavaram in the West Godavari district remains the most crowded. It is where cockfights take place on large open grounds and betting of ₹. 10 lakhs is not only gambled on each round but also on each of the 200 famous fighting rings. 

Thanks to that, cockfighting in Andhra Pradesh along with card and dice games that are carried on these venues, is duly known for reaching over ₹500 crore every year. Since it is also carried out during festivals, fighting arenas are bound to be crowded with people. Moreover, the sport has also come to be known as a part of the local tradition, thereby earning a whole different status. 

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How do the fights take place?

The famous practice of cockfighting begins with roosters being tied with razor-sharp blades on their legs, a scenario that often leads to the birds being killed. And if the bird loses the competition, the opponent will not only get all of the betting amount but will also gain possession of the bird. 

And in order to decide all of that, gamblers will explore the two tiers of cockfights, which include high-stake and low-stake ones. According to journalist Gali Nagaraja, the low-stake ones will be held inside coconut farms to keep them away from the police. 

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As for the high-stake ones, they will be held by followers of top politicians on open grounds.

How are the roosters trained?

People who own these roosters, namely farmers, prepare them for major cockfights by putting them on a high-protein diet. They are also fed minced meat, millets and cashews and are made to swim in the water in order to improve their strength. Due to that, these roosters are specifically trained for the fight and farmers who do so, are eyeing profits.

However, if these roosters don’t directly take in any of these competitions, farmers will then sell them to other rich farmers, who are also looking for roosters who can be used for cockfights. 

When it comes to pricing for these roosters, a lot is taken into consideration. From breed to height and weight, buyers will look to analyse everything and if it is a top-class roster, it will come close to a lakh. #KhabarLive #hydnews