Balasore, Aug 22 (odisha.in) Now-a-day snake charmers are more in demand in theflood-ravaged northern parts of coastal Balasore district. Believe it or not, but it is true.
Budhiram Behera, a 36-year-old of Gadpada village is now a busy man. Even though his family is living in distress after the floodwaters of Jalaka river washed away all his belongings, he has not shown any hesitation to help others out.
Whenever he has been given a call, armed with an iron rod that has a hook at the end of it and a jute sack, he has reached at the spot and rescued the people from the fear of snakes. He has caught over two dozen snakes within last two days.
“I feel happy while saving the villagers from snake-bite. I used to maintain my family as a snake charmer but this time I feel proud as my profession helped the villagers out during the most precarious moments,” sums up Budhiram.
Not only Budhiram, Nabakishore Singh, a 28-year-old tribal of Srirampur village also is engaged in snake catching activities in the flood-hit Basta block. He has so far caught over 20 poisonous snakes taken shelter in the make-shift shades of flood-victims.
With the floodwaters started receding, the houses of flood-victims have become safe havens for poisonous insects, snakes, iguanas and wild-cats which are taking shelter escaping the floods.
According to a government official, snake charmers are having a field day in the four northern blocks – Basta, Baliapal, Bhogarai and Jaleswar of the district, which has witnessed flash floods for the fourth time within one-and-half-month. They have in fact achieved instant popularity for their expertise.
“Though they are not demanding more, but they take happily whatever the people offer them for their help. The snake charmers are now the most sought after persons in the flood-hit areas,” told district project coordinator of Sarva Sikaha Abhiyan (SSA) Pratap Mishra, who was in-charge of relief operation.
Source said, over 20 persons in the four blocks have been admitted in various primary health centres due to snake bite. Five others also were under-going treatment at the district headquarters hospital.
Adikanda Behera of Duttapur village however can’t forget the help of Nabakishore. He said, “After my house collapsed along with my five-member family I had taken shelter in a make-shift shade on NH-60. Suddenly I saw a snake coiled around the bamboo platform next to my children who were sleeping. Naba came and caught the snake.”
“As the floodwaters are yet to fully recede, we have been forced to share our shelter with poisonous insects and reptiles,” he added.
Official sources said, over nine lakh people in 1208 villages under 116 GPs in five blocks of the district have been affected in the recent flood. Three deaths have been reported so far.