Indore forest department rescued 35 snakes on Friday on the occasion of Nag Panchami. The number has spiked compared to last year.
A reason for less number of rescued snakes last year could be lockdown enforced for controlling coronavirus. However, despite several campaigns, at least 20 snakes are rescued every year in Indore district.
The rescue team launched a major drive to save the snakes from early morning reaching out to various areas in the city. There were four teams of forest officials that were monitoring different areas of the city.
Each team had four officials and were allotted a forest vehicle, said Jaiveer Singh, forest ranger heading the rescue team, said.
According to the rescue team, the condition of the rescued snakes was not very bad, but they could have been severely harmed. The rescued snakes were released in the wild.
Singh said, “Our rescue team requested the people not to offer milk to the snakes as it is purely non-vegetarian.”
“We found that some snakes were defanged,” Singh said.
He added that the snake rescue operation early in the morning and covered the entire city by evening.
After rescuing snakes during Nag Panchami in the last few years, the rescue team observed people are slowly become aware how hundreds of snakes die a slow painful death during the festival. Yet, many people continue to find snakes and take them to temples to pray on Nag Panchami every year.
“In natural conditions, snakes do not drink milk; Snakes can’t digest it properly and by the time festival is over, they become extremely weak and die. That is why it is important to create more awareness among the people regarding the ill effects of offering milk to the snakes during the festival,” Singh said.
Why is Nag Panchami celebrated?
The festival of Nag Panchami is celebrated because there is tremendous rainfall during the month of Shravan. Because of this, during this time, snakes often come out of their burrows because of rain fills their burrows with water. They can kill humans to save themselves. To prevent this, the festival of Nag Panchami is celebrated.
Traditional Dangal a big draw
A traditional dangal (wrestling) was organised at Banganga to mark Nag Panchami. The dangal is organised every year and hundreds of people gather to cheer their favourite pehelwan (wrestler). Various vyamshalas and akharas send their participants to see who is the best. The event was organised by Brijlal Ustad Vyamshala. The pehelwans, especially the juniors, who participated were felicitated on the occasion.