The Fire-Fighting Children Of The Khasi Hills And The Decline Of Traditional Farming In North-East India
Smoke hangs in the cold air. Around another winding turn on the road, a fire in the forest comes into sight. A local farmer is burning the undergrowth of the land he owns, employing the traditional slash-and-burn cultivation method…As I stop to watch the fire spread through the forest undergrowth – a spectacular sight – the children come and join me. Only later do I realise that they were not just playing around: they were there as fire-fighters.