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.