Thursday, March 15, 2007

Where donkeys carry newly wed couples

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Can you ever imagine that in this Jet age, there is a place in India where people use donkeys only as a means of transportation? From a newly wed couple to a load of cargo -- donkeys carry everything in Mahishgote, a village just a few kilometres from Kolkata in West Bengal State of India. A visit to Mahishgote, in Howrah district, is a journey back into time.

Whether it's ferrying a marriage party or building material, there's little choice but to use donkeys here. Please note: The 6,000-people village is close to the high-speed showpiece highway under the Golden Quadrilateral project.

'We have nothing but donkeys as our key means of transport. They carry everything and everyone. The roads are so narrow that only donkeys can traverse them,' explained Sanat Kumar Hodai, a villager.
But villagers such as Abdul Aziz and Laksman Pal, who rent out donkeys, are happy.

'I have been running this business for four years. It's quite lucrative. I charge Rs.300-400 for carrying 1,000 bricks and Rs.1,500 for carrying one truck of sand as there's no other means of transport in the village,' said Abdul Aziz, who owns four donkeys. Read more.........In the shadow of national highway, donkeys ferry people

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