After they were deprived of traditional family profession of catching snakes, entertaining people and thereby earning livelihood 25 years back, they have been moving hither and thither in search of work. Most of the 100 people are now working outside as migrant workers. They have neither houses nor cultivable lands.
Even though the State Government claims to have distributed houses to eligible poor families across the State, the plights of the 10 snake-charmer families is an indication of the reality. Getting a pucca house is now a dream for these snake-charmer families. They are now living in thatched houses.
Earlier to their re-habitation, they, residents of Muribahal Dangarpada in Bolangir district, were catching cobras and showing them to people in villages for entertainment. In 1998, they got settled on a Government land at Khaliapali. They have Aadhaar and Voter Cards and have already cast franchise in five general elections. However, they are yet to get land from the Government. Thus, they have been living in unsafe thatched houses for the last 25 years.
As catching cobra and other snakes is prohibited under law, they were asked not to catch houses and advised to take to other jobs for livelihood. However, they have not been provided any Government help so far. Jobs under MGNREGA are also a dream for them.
According to information, more than 40 people belonging to the snake charmer families are now working as migrant labourers in Andhra Pradesh.