The women in the picture are neighbors. They are Gaddi, a tribal community native to the hills around Dharamshala. Naddi village is 7,000 feet above sea level, a short hike from McLeod Ganj, a suburb of Dharamshala. I spoke briefly with the Gaddi woman on the left. She’s in her sixties.
Today, it took five hours to collect these leaves. If I find dry leaves and branches, my job is over quickly. Some days it is longer, some days shorter. It snowed here, no? So today it took longer. No, these are not to sell. They are for my cow. If I collect enough, I won’t have to return more than two or three times a week. Just one cow. I work like the bullock for my cow’s food. But it provides for me in return. It would be good if I had more than one cow, but one is all I can afford.
Marlon de Souza Ⓒ2019. All rights reserved.