Photographer's Note

It is no unusual sight in Rajasthan to see women performing manual labour and in some cases they perform harder tasks than men. One task which frequently falls to the woman's lot is that of fetching water, this they do by the aid of large handleless metalware bottles and the practice of carrying these heavy pots balanced on the head imparts to the rural women an enviable gracefulness of carriage. Clean water is essential for life but the lack of water means that women and children spend hours each day searching for water and carrying it home few kilometers away. This exhausting task may result in severe pain in their necks and backs over the times in my opinion, but I guess not much can be done in this regard.

In this remote Kanoi semi desert village some 60km west of Jaisalmer, getting enough water is routine daily chores for these women. Those pots of water they will fill and carry back home, will have to be suffice for cooking, drinking, cleaning, bathing and anything else, including watering their goats from which they get critical milk to sell in the marketplace. The whole village is depending on these water-carriers. Life is water and without it there is only dehydration, starvation and sickness.

I have watched these woman with a sense of awe. First of all, try balancing 3-5kg of water on your head, secondly they are not just carrying water up there, they are carrying the lives of those they love. Those women are carrying the whole village up there. The thirsty souls are depending on them to get the water to them. Imagine if the watercarriers, just stay at the well all day, splashing in the water and drinking their fill. Their thirst will be quenched, they will be cooled and refreshed, but those in the village will die in a dry desert land where there is no water.

These women are carriers of Living Water surrounded by thirsty people who live in a weary land...

Shot taken on cool overcast afternoon, hiding away behind some desert bushes using my long lens. Focused on the central figure.

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Additional Photos by abmdsudi abmdsudi (abmdsudi) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6680 W: 150 N: 14602] (64343)
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