Standing in Thar desert in amongst the shrubs

Disatisfied with the commercial world of work in the UK and the career lying ahead of me, I took my savings and embarked on a most unusual project.  Through November 2010 to Febrary 2011, I am living with a little-known tribe of people called the Bishnoi in the Thar desert, Rasjasthan, India.  The Bishnoi centre many of their religious beliefs around care for wildlife and the natural world.  My goal is to tentatively try to understand Bishnoi culture and values by getting involved in daily life; be that milking buffalo, collecting seeds or fetching water.

The Bishnoi people are not internationally well-known but have done astounding things for environmental conservation since well before Shakespeare walked the streets of England.  Whilst living with Bishnoi families, I will take on the role of a gentle and open-minded pupil, then use the experience to encourage understanding and thoughtfulness elsewhere.

Over the next few months this blog will be populated with stories, info, links and discoveries.  Use the ‘SUBSCRIBE’ tab in the top right hand corner of this page to make sure you are kept up to date when there are new articles to read.  Don’t miss the adventure!

Indian gazelles, a sacred animal for the Bshnoi community



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Trevor R. Daw on December 10, 2010 at 9:16 pm

    Thanks for the update on your activities. We are having a spell of weather above zero which has allowed the snow to melt away. Please give Tom our best wishes. We are looking forward to his return to UK, and hopefully his once weekly visits to Fern Bank.


  2. Posted by Trevor R. Daw on December 10, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    This reply from Ruth Daw

    In the haw frost our view from the kitchen window has been spectacular with the sun setting behind the trees. Many thanks for Tom’s hard work.

    Best wishes.



  3. Posted by Adrian Shirk on December 7, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Hi there,

    My name is Adrian Shirk; I work for Wilder Quarterly, a horticulture and design magazine based out of NYC. We’re running a story on Bishnoi and the Chipko movement, and I’m wondering if you can direct me to who I might ask permission to use any of the images you use in this post:


    Many thanks for your time.


  4. very nice


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