66 % of the world’s population will live and work in cities by 2050. In India too, rapid urbanization is a continuing trend. In the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand where I spend most of my time when in India, I see the other side of this drift to the towns and cities: a steady exodus from the remote villages. In these heavenly Himalayan foothills, agriculture has necessarily always been small-scale. Moreover, increasing numbers of monkeys – sacrosanct animals in India – are a constant nuisance and a destructive menace for the still standing crops. That’s why many small farmers have stopped producing for the market. They only keep growing some food crops around the house for their own use, while waiting out their time. The young go to school and then seek their fortune elsewhere in towns and cities. This is the common state of affairs these days.
Still it is strange: no angry god seems needed for the expulsion from this Garden of Eden. Man leaves of his own accord.
Photo of the week: Kumaon hills, Almora District, Uttarakhand, India 2014