Women of the Thar

Photo credit: Nevil Zaveri

Enduring harsh, arid weather and shifting sand dunes, the rural women of India’s Thar desert are made of tough stuff. To help support their families, many of the men from this vast 77,000-square-mile wilderness in northwest Rajasthan have had to migrate to cities. This means that a number of women have been left to fend for their families alone, confronting drought and conjuring food from poor soil. Some women in the town of Derasar have set up a self-help group to offer advice on which crops are best suited to the water-depleted soil, helping their peers adopt new farming methods and provide fruit trees.

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