Recently, expert snake catchers from the Irula tribe in Tamil Nadu, were awarded the Padma Shri.


About the ‘Irula Tribe’

  • Irulas are one of India’s oldest indigenous communities and they are a particularly vulnerable tribal group.
  • They live primarily in the northern districts of Tamil Nadu, as well as in parts of Kerala and Karnataka.
  • They speak Irula, which is related to Dravidian languages like Tamil and Kannada.
  • Irulas have traditionally caught snakes and rats, but they also work as labourers.
  • Irulas’ knowledge of snakes and snake venom is legendary.They can even locate snakes based on their tracks, smell, and droppings.
  • The Irula Snake Catchers’ Industrial Cooperative Society is a major producer of anti-snake venom (ASV) in the country.