Spoorthi, a 21-year-old Herpetologist from Bangalore has been creating awareness about the snakes and spread awareness about snakebites in the rural Karnataka.
Since her childhood days, she always loved nature and travel has been her passion. Soon after her 12th standard, she was preparing for engineering and medical like any other student but it didn’t go as she expected.
Spoorthi’s love for nature and wildlife
“It took me a while to understand my passion and what interests me. I started spending my time outdoor, I visited parks in Malleshwarm regularly. I soon realised that my love for nature and wildlife has always been there since young. I chose my studies accordingly and pursued Biotechnology, Chemistry and Zoology from Christ University, Bangalore.”
During her college days, she got opportunities to participate in many activities, among which Greenami was one among them which conducted treks. In 2016, she came across Agumbe Rainforest Research Station from one of her seniors in the college.
Her actual wildlife journey began from there. She volunteered there for a project called Human Snake Conflict Mitigation for 20 days. She went out for the rescue operations and for the first time she witnessed a snake that is 12 feet King Cobra.
She said, “ I just fell in love with reptile”
Soon after she came back home she had realised that this is what she had to do and started looking for opportunities where she could learn about snakes.
Nature and Travel Led Her Path
She applied for internship programmes to learn more about reptiles and conserve different at the Indian Institute of Science.
After which she came across Sanjeev Pednekar’s profile on Facebook. He is the founder of ‘Prani Pet Sanctuary’ and ‘Haavu Mattu Navu’. “I had heard about him before and connected with him. He mentioned about ‘Haavu Mattu Navu’ and that I can work with him on the project,” she said.
Spoorthi added, “ My mother was against my decision and wanted me to go for counselling also! She thought it’s just my teenage adrenaline rush and I will be calmed with time. She saw my dedication, and now she understands my field of work.
Exploring The Passion
Haavu Mattu Navu is a project inspired by another Sanjeev’s initiative ‘Living with Snakes’, which went for over a year in collaboration with Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Centre for Herpetology.
The main idea behind this project was to mitigate and spread awareness regarding the norms about snakes and snakebites. There are very few people who are in this field, and most of them are men. In our team, it’s mostly me and Sanjeev.
She went to almost 50+ villages and worked on projects actively for three-four months before lockdown.
“Now that the lockdown restriction has eased out a bit, I am thinking to resume my work and visit 20 different districts in Karnataka. I will dedicate my next two-three years to pick up my skills and, by the age of 25, I should have something of my own working on a root cause,” she said
According to her, animal or nature conservation is just not limited to the work we do but, it’s a way of life. She strongly believes it’s all part of evolution and co-existence is the only way to lead a meaningful life as a highly evolved beings with every other creature.
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