In search of fresh grazing, these nomads herd sheep through high-rises

  • AFP, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 07, 2015 13:40 IST

Every year Padma Ram and his family make their way to the outskirts of New Delhi in search of fresh grazing for their livestock.

The traditional nomads and their hundreds of sheep make for an unusual sight amid the concrete blocks of the national capital, which provides a surprisingly large amount of green pasture.

Mules carry everything the clan needs to survive the journey from the western desert state of Rajasthan, from cooking utensils to light beds made of wood and rope.

The shepherds trek long distances in search of pasture for their 2,500 sheep which they make a living from by selling the male lambs and their wool. (AFP Photo)

They camp wherever there is good grazing, using nets to ensure the sheep do not roam away.

At one recent stop outside Delhi, small children chased sheep and played happily on swings hung from tree branches.

The women, dressed in traditional hand-embroidered blouses and skirts, busied themselves with milking, fetching water and cooking.

The family sells the male lambs and keeps the milk to drink or make into butter.

A girl holds a sheep at her familiy's camp in Sikri in Faridabad. (AFP Photo)

"For generations, we have made our living herding sheep," said 65-year-old clan elder Padma Ram as he adjusted his red turban.

"We don't know how to read or write and neither do our children; this is the only way of life that we know."

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