Snake Cell

February 7, 2008 – 1:04 pm

Snake Cell was commissioned on the World Environment Day 1998, at Chandigarh to disseminate vital information on the subject `Snakes and Snakebite’ and about the role of snakes in maintaining ecological balance, to dispel the myths, fear and hatred which people have for these useful animals. Also, educating people about the prevention of snakebite, emergencies arising from snakebite and the managment of snakbite victim and first-aid that is very vital for the treatment.

People seek help from the Snake Cell to remove snakes from their houses, offices, factories etc. So far, we have caught about 950 snakes from houses; including Common Krait (the deadliest Indian snake) which is 15 times more poisonous than a cobra. About 1250 houses were visited to attend calls to rescue snakes till this season.

It’s a Free Service 24 Hours a day in around Chandigarh.

Snake Cell has been a self-funded project and has never been supported by any donations!! Except a couple of friends supported it when required.

History: While Capt Suresh was serving with the Indian Peace Keeping Force in Sri Lanka, in 1988, he came in contact with Satish Bhaskar at Chennai, who has been well known for his work about marine life, especially the sea turtles. This was the turning point in Captain’s life; Satish introduced Capt Suresh to Dr Indraneil Das at Madras Croc Bank, Mammallapuram. Also, Capt Suresh expressed his curiosity to Satish to let him get a peep into how wildlife films are produced, as Rom Whitekar and Shekar Dattatri were filming `Silent Valley – An Indian Rainforest’. Suresh met Rom and Shekar to express his desire to work as a volunteer on the film under production, to which he got consent. Capt Sharma applied for `leave without pay’ from the army and got to work for three months on the film. He fell in love with filming – `love at first sight’. He decided to bid the Indian Army adieu, which he loved the most till this exposure to nature films. It was all for his love for nature and photography that he hung his uniform. He worked with Shekar Dattatri on three films, two of which were produced for the National Geographic.

For some personal reasons and unforeseen circumstances, he had to abandon filming career abruptly at its infancy stage itself and moved back to Chandigarh. With no job in hand, he faced serious financial hardships for two years but decided not to get back to doing `9 to 5′ jobs. At this point, he discovered that to remain in touch with nature, he should start Nature Conservation through Education, which needs no money to begin with and that will be his contribution towards nature conservation. He offered free lectures at schools and colleges. While pursuing his dream to educate people about nature conservation, Capt Suresh felt that people will not come forward till they have apprehensions, myths, misconceptions, fear, about animals. Every individual’s contribution is very vital for conservation efforts. In the mean time, he offered his skill of handling snakes to rescue snakes those stray into houses. He discovered that it’s the best way, use snakes to dispel misconceptions about all animals, to convey message for nature conservation through education.

Capt Suresh Sharma requested his old friend Dr Indraneil Das to be scientific advisor to Snake Cell. In 1999, Capt Suresh met Dr Rajbir Kaur, when he was requested to conduct a programme (co-ordinated by Rajbir) to educate village women about snakes and snakebite. After this programe, Capt Suresh proposed Rajbir to work as a volunteer with Snake Cell their association grew and they got married. Now, they devout most of their time to educate and motivate people about nature conservation. Both have been rescuing snakes in Chandigarh and around, ever since they first met. Basically, to understand and assess the problems of humans and snakes in inhabited areas and then design better methods to educate people, also to design training programmes for snake handlers as well.

It has been an uphill task and had to negotiate with many hurdles to bring Snake Cell to this level. They pursue their passion with an extra ordinary missionary zeal.

All these years, both have worked relentlessly to raise own funds to support Snake Cell and have been supported by their friends and well-wishers for the cause. They have been printing wildlife T-shirts (the best in India till now) with their own hands and organise special interest tours of quality to raise funds.

The project, Snake Cell, has been very successful so far, it has shown very evident results and the programmes are most sought after by schools, colleges and public.

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  1. One Response to “Snake Cell”

  2. Respected Authority….i live Kansal near High Court Chandigarh..i m in confusion that my two street dog has been dead under suspecious condition outside my home …they will be 6-7 month old…i think it can be killed by snake…because their was a little circled marked on body snake i saw in my porch but i throw it outside …another big snake same kind i saw in my neighbour home but due to theirpet dog activeness they killed that snake…now what i have to do…if snake bite to any person then can i give any injection or give medicine till emergency team arrive or we go to doctor….give me thedetail of centres of hospitsl wherewe can go in emergency in case of snake bite in chandigarh

    By Rajbir Singh on Jun 19, 2011

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