National Snakebite Initiative
Snakebites remain a dangerous but understudied medical concern across most parts of India, even as rapid urbanisation increases wildlife conflict. Misinformation and lack of basic research exposes many people to avoidable dangers.
The National Snakebite Initiative, with the help of the Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation, involves outreach campaigns among various community outposts, such as schools; envenomation and epidemiological surveys within the community and in hospitals. This also includes capacity building and training for government officials, tribal youth and women. The project is sited in and around Erode, Tamil Nadu.
The project aims to improve the quality of response to snake sightings and snakebites, by raising awareness levels and building capacity amongst various stakeholders of the local community.
The project has completed awareness campaigns across 120 schools and colleges in Erode, conducted skill development trainings for various government officials and tribal youths, and carried out envenomation surveys and epidemiological studies. In the process, cross-sectoral linkages have been established with the aim of supporting institutionalisation of change in behaviour towards snakes and snakebites.
Jeeva Karunya Trust is an action-oriented and youth-led organisation with a mission to train youth in sustainable development, promote humanitarian values and work towards collectively maintaining ecological balance. The organisation targets the empowerment of tribes, gypsies, youth, women and children in backward communities, and champions the cause of preservation of forests and wildlife in partnership with self-help groups and non-governmental organisations.