The Snake Charmers that lost their sway 

Saura is a tribal community that mainly resides in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Madhya Pradesh. They were labeled as one of the ‘criminal tribes’ under Criminal Tribes Act,1871, and are still suffering from social stigma and ostracism in modern times. However, most of the members of the Saura community are struggling to get the status of tribes. The forest-dwelling tribe lacks experience in agriculture, and relies on the forests for its livelihood. The principal occupation of the Saura remains snake charming, and they wander from village to village, performing with deadly snakes like cobras. They are also expert snake catchers, and are often called in by other villagers to catch snakes and remove the poison from persons bitten by snakes. A few have now taken up permanent settlement and are mainly sharecroppers. They remain an extremely marginalised group, suffering from poverty. Saura (Sapera) are still largely involved in their traditional occupation of snake charming and snake catching, as well as collecting wild roots and tubers, which they use for medicinal purposes. CASA has provided dry ration and hygiene kits to 24 families of the Saura community from Kanker district (north Bastar), Chhattisgarh.