Mumbai: Man saves his friend from deadly snake, sustains bite

How far would you go for a friend? For Pravin Dhiwar, saving his friend meant doing it even at danger to his own life. In an attempt to protect his friend from a venomous snake, recently, he sustained a bite that could have killed him. Dhiwar (27) and his friend, Mujahid Khan (30), work as assistant cameramen at Film City in Goregaon.

Manwar Shaikh, Pravin Dhiwar and Mujahid Khan
Manwar Shaikh, Pravin Dhiwar and Mujahid Khan

On February 1 around 9.45 pm, they were leaving after work, from the shoot of the soap Suhani Si Ek Ladki. They approached Khan’s bike, which he got on, without seeing a snake next to it. Dhiwar saw the snake close to Khan’s left ankle and without bothering about the consequences, tried to fling it away with his right hand. He was immediately bitten.

“Initially I felt a terrible pain in my fingers and wrist, and gradually, I started to feel nauseous and giddy,” said Dhiwar. Dhiwar was immediately rushed to Saraf clinic in Goregaon by his friends Khan and Manwar Shaikh (32), a cameraman. The doctor tied a tourniquet bandage on both the sides of the sting and told them to immediately hospitalise Dhiwar.

Dhiwar was taken to the BMC-run Hinduhridaysamrat Balasaheb Thackeray Trauma centre in Jogeshwari East. A test showed signs of thinning of blood. “The doctors there told us they did not have all the services available and asked us to shift him to KEM Hospital. Thankfully by then he started regaining consciousness,” said Khan. At KEM hospital, anti-venom serum was given to Dhiwar. “I am feeling just fine now.

The shooting pain in my hand has also disappeared. I am glad I was able to save my friend”, said a pleased Dhiwar. He will be discharged in a few days. Snakes of different kinds are frequently found in and around Film City. The snake that bit Dhiwar was identified to be of the type Saw Scaled Viper, a highly venomous snake found in dry regions.

Kaushalendra Dubey, a snake rescuer from NGO-SARRP (Spreading awareness on Reptiles and Rehabilitation programme) identified the type of snake. “Echis Carinatus, commonly known as Saw-scaled viper has hemotoxic venom. If it bites a human there are chances of the victim suffering from gangrene or even paralysis”, said Dubey.

“Approximately 35-40 snakes have been rescued from the Film City premises in the past eight months. The ones rescued frequently are Rat snakes commonly known as ‘Dhaman’ as well as the Indian Rock Python”, added Dubey.

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