A ₹1 bounty on giant African snails

Unique solution: Morning walkers with the snails they bought as a public service.  

An offer to buy the highly invasive African giant snails is not something one comes across very often. But posters, complete with contact numbers, making exactly such an offer are turning heads in the coastal panchayats of Nayarambalam and Njarackal in Kerala.

The rather novel initiative is the brainchild of Sunrise, a combine of morning walkers. Since putting up the posters a week ago, they have been flooded with calls from affected people, as the invasive African snails are crop pests apart from posing health hazards.

“We buy the African snails at ₹1 each. In the one week since we started the initiative, we have bought over 3,500 snails, which were later killed en masse using a saline lotion. In one case, we bought about 600 snails from a single household,” said Avarachan Parakkal, an active member of the group.

The group of walkers has been hitting the road every morning without fail for the last four years.

The menace posed by African snails came to their notice after they frequently came across them in large numbers on their usual stretch spanning two panchayats.

“We started killing them using saline lotions and even sanitisers. But we realised that it was far from adequate, since a majority of snails inhabited private property, which we cannot trespass into without permission. That is when we decided to mobilise funds to buy them,” said Ouseph Valooraan, another member of the group.

Purchase and elimination of snails is only the latest of many initiatives by Sunrise, which has been taking up issues of public interest, whether it is waterlogging or bad roads.

“We bring raise the matter with the authorities, and if they fail to act, we do whatever we can,” said Jiju Jacob, another member of the 22-member group.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2022 11:11:52 PM |

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