Ms. Khusbu Bhandari is an 18 years old Wildlife Conservationist from Chitwan. Currently, she is working as a snake rescuer in Raise Hands Nepal. For the past two years, she has been rescuing snakes. She has been rescuing snakes in her community, following in the footsteps of her father. She also makes educational videos regarding snake bites and their importance to aware people. She has also been interested in social issues aiming at eliminating gender inequity.
Ms. Bhandari has a propensity of taking risks. She is highly valuable for society when she works with optimistic thinking. Without a doubt, she is a true hero and a rare example of our society. She is one of the Finalists of Wai Wai Glocal Teen Hero Nepal 2021. We had a few conversations with her regarding her projects;
How was your experience when you were announced as Top 6 Finalist of GTH Nepal 2021?
The feeling was not explainable. It was a great experience to be a part of GTH family when I was selected as Glocal`s 20under20. But when I was selected as a top 6 finalist; I felt honored and therefore I also want to present my sincere gratitude towards Glocal family for this amazing opportunity and for allowing me to showcase my work to a larger audience. It was an amazing experience.
How long have you been starting your journey as a snake rescuer? Can you share your journey experience?
It has been around 8 months since I started rescuing snakes myself but my journey began 2.5 years ago. When I was there with my father to rescue a snake in a house. When a woman said, “he is holding a snake because he is a man and he has guts, but a girl or a woman can never do this.” Her remarks have an impact on me, making me understand that “if I can’t do it, how can I suggest girls can?”
Following that day, I began reading various books and articles in which I learned about the relevance and value of snakes in our environment, which sparked my interest, and I embarked on the journey with my father.
What is the best thing that keeps you motivated?
Some people may believe that unfavorable comments may hinder your progress, but I have found that it has served as a source of incentive. People who bless me when I rescue snakes from their homes, as well as my own self-confidence, keep me going.
What method did you use to catch snakes?
Talking about the procedure the first thing is identifying the snake species if it is venomous or non-venomous, secondly my safety such as boots, gloves, hooks and sticks. Yes, it is the method to rescue and save the snakes.
What kind of articles/videos do you create and upload on social media sites?
I uploaded informational videos on social media platforms to aware people of the snake bites and their significance. Mostly, I write articles about “why we need to save snakes and their importance”, as well as videos about “what we should do or not do after a snake bite and how to prevent snake bites.”
Would you like to share some of your memorable experiences catching snakes?
Of course, I have been to many places to rescue snakes. In terms of a specific incident, I was at a house to rescue a snake. I rescued them easily and safely. When I asked for a bag to put the snake in, they gave me a rice bag. The snake was a common rat snake, a non-venomous species. We were on the way and my father was riding his bike. We had no idea the bag had a hole in it. Half of the snakes were out of the bag when we reached home, but neither we nor the snake was hurt. As a result, we must be careful when performing tasks.
What is your future goal?
Talking about future aspirations, I want to make a positive impact on society and achieve something that will inspire others.
What message would you like to deliver to teenagers?
As teenagers, it is our responsibility to consider our own difficulties as well as the problems of those around us and to try to find solutions. We are the ones who must take the initiative and maintain our progress toward a brighter future. Fight your fear and, believe me, you will be able to overcome any obstacle.