NILAMBAZAR, April 10 - Umed Khan may look like any other person in the street, but he is an extraordinary person because of his passion for snake venom, which he drinks regularly every month. Snake venom is deadly and it is very difficult to revive a person, bitten by a poisonous snake, unless anti-venom serum is provided immediately. However, Khan claims that even after being bitten by a snake, a person can be saved, provided a trace of life remains in his body.
Umed Khan is a resident of Mayong, a remote village of Morigaon district. He specialises in caring for people bitten by poisonous snakes. He has earned quite a name for himself by saving the lives of many persons bitten by poisonous snakes in different parts of Assam and outside.
In an exclusive interview, Umed Khan said that immediately after somebody is bitten by a poisonous snake, tourniquets should be fixed at least 10 inches above the spot of bite. This would prevent the venom from spreading to other parts of the body. A person can be kept alive upto 10 days by following this process. If proper treatment is then arranged, the man can surely be saved. Umed Khan claims to have himself saved the lives of many persons bitten by poisonous snakes.
Umed Khan learnt the tricks of his trade from Shyamlal Basumatari, a resident of Mayong area. For 13 long years, Umed Khan served as an apprentice under Shyamlal. By his tenacity, Umed Khan has become such an expert that he drinks venom of two snakes every month being none the worse for that. Umed Khan claims that he can even save a person bitten by a king cobra. Though he has saved many lives, but he never accepts money for his work. He considers curing snake-bitten people as his duty.
On the other hand, according to a doctor, Dr KG Hussain, there is no magical cure for any snake-bitten case. Mortality is a certainty at the bite of a poisonous snake, if proper treatment is not provided instantly. He also advised that anti-venom serum be applied as soon as someone is bitten by a poisonous snake.