I live in the Little Rann of Kutch (LRK), along Gujarat’s western coast and spend eight months in India’s salt desert where my family, part of the Agariya tribe, extracts salt. From September to April, the entire region is a big salt desert, but May onwards it becomes really hot and then it begins to rain, turning the salt desert into a large swamp-like area. In May, we move to the periphery of the LRK to our village.
My village is called Vasrajpura, one of 32 villages around the LRK. The place where we live is part of the Indian wild ass sanctuary. Around 5,000 beautiful donkeys live here and though we take care of them, the forest department wants us to leave this place. They keep talking about a Forest Act, under which we are causing harm to the donkeys, but I’ve never seen anybody from our tribe harming a donkey.