International Journal of Social Science and Humanities
2020, Vol. 2, Issue 2
Role of forest Resources to local livelihoods: The case of Bediya Snake Charmers of West Bengal, India
Sanjoy Mura, Santanu Panda
The majority of the population in India lives in rural areas. Forests play a vital role in the rural economy. In many areas, forests and trees are among the few resources that are available to rural dwellers. They provide different kinds of benefits: jobs and incomes often needed to supplement inadequate returns from agriculture; produce such as fuel wood, food, fodder and building poles for the home; and a range of environmental benefits, without which other activity, such as agriculture might be impossible. Forest sector is the second largest land use after agriculture. Forests are important in the livelihood of Bediya Snake charmer community of West Bengal. They depend on forests resources for various products such as fuel wood, construction materials, medicine, and food. This community has traditional occupation snake charming, in order to carry out their occupation; they go hunting for snake in the forest. They are used cobra, king cobra and russell viper, this snake were caught from forest and broken venom teeth and kept in bamboos making basket for 3 to 4 days and this snakes are used for earning purpose. For snake bite it is also treated with herbal medicinal plants which are also taken from forest. The Bediya Snake charmer livelihood depended on the street performance. This paper will attempt to highlight the role of forest resources among the Bediya snake charmer community and their economic status.