For ages snakes have been a symbol of worship in many parts of India however one gets goosebumps even at the mere mention of them in passing. Most of us get eerie feelings from these creepy creatures. However, Mukesh Ingle, a snake rescuer, spends most of his time with them as he rejoices their company. Freepress talked to him regarding his passion for snakes and his ongoing conservation programmes for them.
Sharing with us his love and passion towards snakes Ingle said “I was born in a very mediocre family with handful of recourses at our disposal. We lived from hand to mouth everyday to meet our expenses. In order to support my family I started working on many shops. The wages I received from there were not decent but good enough to sustain my family. However, for some reasons I had unspoken fascination towards reptiles especially towards snakes.”
He further added “Looking at the dwindling numbers of snakes I contemplated to undertake snakes conservation programmes. I made a snake conservation unit and later it was absorbed into our club titled as “Friends of Indian Sankes Club”. People appreciated our benign gestures and with their support we went on to spread our wings by opening various branches of this club in many states.”
Continuing his tale Mukesh said “Since snakes-bite generally increases during rainy seasons so we used to get many calls during such periods. I would go and catch these venomous snakes and leave them in jungle or away from the human habitats. My distinctive work brought laurels to me as I started getting the recognition and approval for my work. Soon, government, N.G.O’s and other bodies started paying me honorarium which in turn helped me to meet my expenses.”
Detailing about the conservation work he undertook Ingle elaborated “Way back in 2007, with the help of the government and Ujjain development authority (U.D.A), we laid the foundation of, first of its kind “Snake conservation and research centre” at Vasant Vihar in Ujjain. Here, Not only we are taking care of different species of snakes but many reptiles are also being taken care of. At present we have snakes of around 75 species from very poisonous to innocuous ones.”
Expecting compassion and mercy he had a message for our readers “Snakes are not merely symbol of worship in fact they are integral part of our ecology as they are very important constituent of food chain. A snake like any other creature is harmless, if not attacked or troubled. They may bite in their self-defense, if they sense any danger or threat therefore I would request everyone to treat them with due care and maintain a safe distance.”