Superstition turns big business, drives people to pay & feed snakes

Nayagarh: As a rampant practice, gullible people in Nayagarh are being persuaded by middlemen to feed milk to Indian Cobras for blessings of Lord Shiva. Such has been the extent of craze,  people don’t mind paying anything between Rs 200 and Rs 1000 to appease Lord Shiva through a snake.

As news of such practice in Ranpur area of Nayagarh spread, the members of snake helpline raided the Badamula village but the accused persons managed to escape. Surprisingly, the villagers protested such crackdown.  After a lot of discussions, five Indian Cobras were rescued and released to the forests.

It it has turned a thriving business due to lack of awareness among villagers.

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As per the claims of the middlemen, an Indian Cobra is fed milk during the Danda Puja, it will appease Lord Shiva leading to fulfilment of one’s wishes.

However, very few understand that the snakes used as messengers of Lord Shiva are defanged off their venom teeth, leaving them harmless. So the believers pay a price and feed the snakes with the help of a syringe.

“These persons use this time of the year to fool people when they come to worship Lord Shiva and Goddess Mangala. Out of fear of God, people blindly put their trust on such practice,” said Wildlife warden, Suvendu Mallick.

“The people of the village have helped the accused person escape. However, we are hopeful of catching him after the Danda Puja concludes,” said Khurda DFO, Manoj Kumar Mohapatra.