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Himachal girl’s claim of surviving 34 snake-bites in 3 years: A mystery or mental disorder?



Mysterious Himachal snakebite girl

SHIMLA- A mysterious story of a girl from Trans-Giri region of Himachal Pradesh has been doing rounds of social media and has also attracted attention of the main-stream media as well.

Manisha, an 18-years-old girl from a remote region in district Sirmaur of Himachal Pradesh, caught attention of media when on Saturday she was brought to a hospital in Nahan. Her father claimed she was bitten by the snake and lost consciousness thereafter. However, the doctors couldn’t find any trace of venom in her blood or sign of snake-bite. The girl retained consciousness after few hours without any treatment or dose of anti-venom.

A native of Pota Village, in Manal Panchayat in Trans-Giri region of Shillai, Manisha and her parents reportedly made an unbelievable claim that for the last three years, Manisha has been bitten by snakes for the 34th time. The girl further claimed she has survived all the bites.

Manisha, in a statement to a daily, said,

I have been bitten by snakes over 30 times in the past three years. The first time I was bitten was near a river in my village. Recently, I was bitten by a white snake. Whenever I see a snake I get enchanted and then it bites me. There was some time two years ago when I did not get bitten. During school I have been repeatedly bitten by a snake, at times even twice or thrice a day.

A report in the same daily also said that the medical records show she was bitten for the 34th time.

Her father Sumar Sharma told an English Daily,

None has seen a snake but one can see the impressions of the fangs on her body. We took her to panditji, who said she had a link with snakes from her previous birth,

he said.


The parents feel it was due to the blessings of their deity that she has been surviving the deadly bites.

As per the local forest officer,

I have no idea which snake has bitten her. We have Russell’s Vipers in Shillai and other areas of Sirmaur. But rattle snakes are also common. Non-poisonous snakes may have bitten her.

However, the doctors at the Dr. YS Parmar Medical College and Hospital, Nahan, and anti-venom specialists are not convinced with this story.

Dr KK Prashar, medical superintendent, Nahan medical college, said that the Medical College has suggested help of psychological counseller for the girl.

It can be an imagination. It could be a coincident that the girl was bitten by non-poisonous snakes, but 34 times is quite unbelievable. We believe in test reports and so far none of the tests confirmed presence of any type of snake venom in her blood. There are no marks of snake bites either.

he said.

Meanwhile, a Shimla-based veterinarian has come up with an interesting explanation regarding the possibility of development of anti-venom properties in the girl due to repeated snake-bites.

There is possibility that girl is bitten by snakes and the blood may have developed a mechanism to undo the effect of the venom,

he said.

On this, the experts at the department of pharmacology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi also believe it to be a case of bites from non-poisonous snakes.

There have been reports where human body has developed antibodies against snake venom but the quantity usually is not enough to provide long-term protection. Some people are known to have survived successive snakebites, but whether it’s due to sufficient concentration of antibodies hasn’t been established,

said Dr YK Gupta, head of department.

Head of the Psychiatry department at Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla, Dr Ravi Chand Sharma, also expressed his disbelief about the claims. He suggested that adolescences are very vulnerable to what is called “attention seeking”. Teens can create such stories to get attention of others.

I don’t think it is true. It can be an attention-catching tactic. This is common among children to say unusual things to catch attention,

he told the English daily.

As a matter of fact, the Trans-Giri region has not seen enough development and its ways and culture is mostly tribal in nature. People here still believe in mythological tales and beliefs associated with local deities. The statements of the parents also support the aforesaid statement. While, this claim is difficult to prove, it is also not possible to believe it.

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Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

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Misc News/Press Release

Krishi Karman Award to Himachal for increased food grain production



Himachal wins national Krishi Karman Award

The total food grains production in the state increased from 14.94 lakh tonnes to 16.40 lakh tonnes during last five years

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh has received the Krishi Karman Award for its achievement in showing highest production of food grains, said the State government. 

Agriculture Minister Dr Ramlal Markanda received ‘Krishi Karman Award’ for the year 2015-16 from Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a ceremony organized at New Delhi, yesterday.  The award consists of a trophy, citation, and cash prize.

Besides, two progressive farmers of the state including a woman farmer also received the prizes.

Congratulating the Agriculture department for this achievement, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Dr Srikant Baldi said this feat was achieved by the department by extending technological inputs and services to the farmers of the state.

As per the government records, the total food grains production in the state increased from 14.94 lakh tonnes to 16.40 lakh tonnes during last five years.  Besides, the department claims it has also done commendable work in promoting poly-house cultivation, crop diversification, micro-irrigation, organic farming and soil health management.

Krishi Karman Awards are instituted by the Union Ministry of Agriculture in 2010-11 to reward the best performing States in the production of rice, wheat, cereals, pulses and total food grains.

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HP Cabinet Minister Vipin Singh Parmar celebrates birthday with special children



HP Cabinet Minister Vipin Singh Parmar Birthday

Shimla: Health and Family Welfare Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Vipin Singh Parmar, visited the school for deaf and dumb at Dhalli, Shimla, in the late evening  and celebrated his birthday with special children.

Health Minister distributed fruits, vegetables, cake and sweets to the children. He also attended the cultural programme presented by the children on this occasion.

Parmar said the State government is giving special emphasis on the welfare of special children, education, food and shelter facilities. He urged teachers and staff members at school to work for the welfare of these children with commitment and dedication.

These children are an important part of the society. These children have some traits and talents in them which need to be honed for their better future, he said.

He said many special children are contributing to the society at par with the general citizens. These children are also serving efficiently in the government services.

Parmar interacted with children and encouraged them to learn more. He said that these children are special to the society. They should have a progressive approach to the life and a passion for learning.

Son of Kanchan Singh Parmar, Vipin was born at village Nanao, Tehsil Palampur, in Kangra on March 15 March, 1964.


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Rohtang Tunnel access road facing increased avalanche threats as Himachal’s average temp on rise: Study



Shimla: A research carried out in Himachal Pradesh within the framework of the Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Program (IHCAP), a partnership led jointly by the Indian and Swiss authorities with strong scientific input from University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, has a bad news for the Hill State.

The impacts of global warming are felt especially in mountainous regions, where the rise in temperatures is above average, affecting both glacierized landscapes and water resources.

The repercussions of these changes are manifold and varied, from retreating glaciers to an increase in the frequency and intensity of snow avalanches.

A team of researchers from the UNIGE, Switzerland, has employed endrochronology– the reconstruction of past disasters as recorded in growth series of trees– to disentangle the role of global warming in the triggering avalanches.

The results of this study are published in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Science – PNAS.

Read Detailed Study

Avalanches are a natural phenomenon and occur repeatedly in mountain areas; nonetheless, rising temperatures are altering their triggering. This can lead to disasters and serious consequences in mountain areas where they can severely affect the socio-economic development and the destruction of traffic infrastructure, and buildings.

This is the case in Himachal Pradesh, where increasing residential numbers and tourism are exerting pressure on land use. Along the road to Leh, 500 km north of New Delhi, the Indian government has drilled one of the largest tunnels of the Indian sub-continent.

study of glacier melting in himcahla pradesh

Avalanche slope in the Western Himalayas used for the reconstruction of changes in avalanche frequency. Red dots indicate the locations of sampled trees. Potential release areas are indicated with semitransparent white surfaces and have been detected using the approach suggested by Bühler et al. (26). The access road to the new Rothang tunnel crosses the lower part of the slope.

With the ongoing climate warming, snow avalanches are increasingly threatening the access road to the tunnel. This is why UNIGE researchers conducted their fieldwork at the spot from 2013 to 2015, in a valley located at between 3,000 and 4,000 m.

Trees: silent witnesses to the upsurge in the number of avalanches

The aim of the research group was to evaluate – and add to – the information currently available about avalanches with two goals:

(i) To identify the nature of the changes in avalanche activity currently taking place; and

(ii) To assess future needs for tackling these changes.

In the absence of data comparable to the information collected in European surveys, for which records often exist for the past few centuries, the UNIGE researchers focused on trees: they examined stumps (when the tree had been removed) or cored trees that were still standing to reconstruct past snow avalanches at the study site.

The scientists were able to date individual events by analysing the growth rings and wounds left on the trees by avalanches. The research included nearly 150 trees.

Since we knew the position of each affected tree, we were able to reconstruct the dynamics, lateral extent and runout distance of every avalanche,

explains Juan Antonio Ballesteros-Cánovas, a senior lecturer at UNIGE’s Institute for Environmental Sciences (ISE).


This technique meant we could go back to 1855 and record 38 avalanches over this period in the valley, the largest survey conducted to date in the Himalayas.

he added.

The models used for testing the impact of climate change combine the risks of avalanche with local climate data. They were adjusted to include the likely effect on topographical features resulting from earlier avalanches.

Since they destroy the plant cover, they are an aggravating risk factor. The results brooked no argument: from the second half of the twentieth century, there has been an increase in the number of avalanches, both in terms of frequency and intensity. The frequency has risen from one event per decade to almost one event every year.

The impact of temperature on the cryosphere

Avalanches are bigger, travel greater distances and are triggered earlier in the year. These changes can be attributed clearly to rising temperatures, which have reached 0.2 to 0.4 degrees annually in some parts of the Himalayas.

And rising air temperature are also affecting the cryosphere: glaciers are receding and permafrost is melting, losing its role as a sediment stabiliser.

 In addition, the structure of the snowpack is changing: it is being transformed by increasingly warmer air temperatures and/or altered by rain-on-snow events.

Snow is now also falling earlier in the season and is being destabilised before spring, at a time when it is thicker, leading to an increase in the number and intensity of avalanches.

Since the snow is wet, avalanches are descending slowly but over greater distances than in the past.


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