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404. The Snake Catchers

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Coop Name: Irula Snake Catchers Industrial Cooperative Society N° of Employees: 15
City: Mamallapuram N° of Members: 370
Country: India Year of formation: 1978
About this coop:

This is a cooperative that has its members catch poisonous Indian snakes, extract venom and release such snakes back in to the wild. The homogeneity of cooperative members lies in their belonging to the Irula Tribe and the cooperative helps the small tribe stay together who receive the socio-economic benefits from doing what they do best, in a cooperative way. An Iruler is great at catching snakes, and it was during when India did not have a specific legislation of wildlife protection, that many members of the Irula tribe were misled and used to procure snake-skin that were sold at high prices in informal markets. The cooperative organised the combination of courage and talent and put it to a fruitful use, Life saving in many cases considering the illnesses snake venom extracts can cure.

Video Credits: Voice: Bernice Devasir; Camera person: Kajari Akhtar; Editor: Andrew Devasir; Sketch Art: Mohd. Shohaib; Production Unit: Vignesh Iyer, Abhimanyu Choudhary;

The video is narrated from a young girl’s perspective. Snakes and economics are not enjoyed by any teenager but the concept of cooperation and the members of the cooperative going about their everyday lives does leave a vivid picture in one’s mind.

Author of this story
Written and Produced for ICA Asia Pacific by P. Santosh Kuma
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