39 Travel blog from India

I was in Surat in southern Gujarat to take pictures of salt workers at the plains in the coastal village of Dandi. This is the place where Gandhi made his famous salt march in 1930 in protest of the British monopoly on salt production.
Unfortunately, the season for salt work is in the summer months, giving me another reason to go back to India yet another time.
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Then I stumbled over these scenes. I saw a lot of boats along the main river in Surat and asked a local:
-What are they used for?
-They transport sand.
-Sand?
-Yes, sand for building constructing
-Where do they get the sand from?
-From the bottom of the river
-How do they get the sand out?
-They dive for it…
-Do they dive for it??
-Yes, do you want to see?
-Yes!
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The next morning before sunrise we were on the way to the spot where they loaded the sand.
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I could hardly believe what I now was witnessing.
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The boats had stopped where the river was about two meters deep.
The river was so full of mud that one could not see an inch.
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The men started to dive for sand which was filled in a metallic strainer and thrown over the gunwale.
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Some boats were in deeper water and used another technique to get the sand.
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They used long poles with a bucket at the end. A man stuck the pole at the bottom while two or three men pulled the rope that was attached to the end.
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Most boats they used seemed to be lifeboats, probably from the ship breaking industry in Alang in Gujarat.
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The boats were then moved into the riverside where they were unloaded by a large number of men and women.
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I have kept the pictures in black and white to emphasise the expression and strengthen the feeling of a bygone era I got when I witnessed the work.
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A little child is left alone in the sun while the unloading goes on.
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A mother (and worker) outside her home near the river.