The NGO also ran activities on rural snake safety for the villagers. In the youth and development programmes, they worked on a historical envenomation survey, where details on snakebite were collected from the victims. A snake safety and skill development training programme was organised for the fire service, the forest department and the police.

Relocation of snakes and record keeping are issues the NGO faces even today. Equipment such as safety gear like tongs and hooks was designed and promoted at lower cost, and the forest officers were trained to use them. Now the forest department officials are able to identify the snakes.

Raising awareness – easier said than done

Awareness of the snakebite problem among farmers in India is minimal. “The farmers don’t know that they should not lie down when the leg gets bitten. They immediately tie the wound tightly. When they reach the hospital and the tied wound is opened, the venom spreads fast and impacts vital organs,” says Shyamala Robin of the National Snakebite Initiative.