Call it a curse or miracle, but snakes are drawn to her like a magnet. And they bite. But Satya Devi of Adna village in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh continues to survive though she has been bitten by different types of snakes for over 70 times in the past 28 years. The snakes not only choose her every time for a bite, but they also remain coiled around her body for some time after biting.
None has been able to explain this strange phenomenon. She has so far survived all this, but it has taken its toll. She says parts of her body are “rotting”. Earlier, people around her would rush her to a doctor, but now they have grown indifferent.
“I was bitten by a snake for the first time in a field in 1980. I survived as I was rushed to Central Research Institute, Kasauli, which is not very far from my place. Then it became a regular thing and I used to get medical aid at this institute. The snakes used to coil around me after biting me, leaving me unconscious,” Satya Devi told HT. Her family members would then take the snake out, throw it or bottle it for handing over to CRI for investigation. “Sometimes the snakes were extremely poisonous as I could identify them,” she added.
Satya Devi got a snakebite a fortnight ago in her arm and relied on general pain killing medication.
A medical specialist at Rippon hospital in Shimla, Dr PC Machaan says that after getting treatment on time initially, she must have developed some resistance for snake bites, that may have saved her life whenever she got a snakebite later. “However, I cannot say without investigation,” he said. Satya Devi is now looking for help from the the state government so she can treat herself at a specialised hospital for the wounds.