Tough People and Tough Lives in Assam
Salopek continues to make his way through India's far eastern state of Assam. At every turn, he seems to find new stories. In both West Bengal and Assam, two regions dominated by the tea industry, he has been speaking to the plantation workers. The majority of the tea pickers are women and many are descended from bonded labourers moved across India by the British during the colonial period. Salaries remain incredibly low and the work is physically demanding. Wildlife also poses a threat; leopards have been known to enter the plantations looking for prey and cobras are pushed out of their holes during the monsoon season. “The wage is low, but what else can we do? We have to survive,” one worker told Salopek.
Now, Salopek has reached the Karbi Hills of Assam and has been reflecting on how far he has come. He recently passed the two year anniversary of his trek through the mighty Pamir mountains of Central Asia and has uploaded a video showing part of this exceptionally snowy crossing. In the Karbi Hills, he won't have to worry about snow, instead, he is keeping an eye out for leeches!