The Gujjars
Lisa Gammel
Sujata Bansal
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
tribes around India livelihoods


Unity in diversity, so the slogan goes. Different people live different lifestyles in different parts of India. And in this day of growing insulation where anything and anyone different from the norm is considered abnormal or worse, an outcaste. Hence, books such as these are very important to help bridge the gap, leading to an understanding and appreciation for lifestyles far removed from that of urban kids.

In this book, a little Gujjar girl accompanies her mother, brother and sister into the jungle to fetch wood and to milk the buffaloes who have been left to graze in the wild on account of the scarcity of fodder owing to a dry spell. Through this simple story line we learn about the lifestyle of the Gujjar's. How they live, what they eat, how closely attuned they are to nature and how knowledgeable about the flora and fauna, being able to recognize the medicinal plants.

The illustrations closely depict the actual homes of the Gujjar. One sees the mud-hearth over which the mother is cooking 'rotis' for her kids and the father sitting on his 'charpoy'; a bed that is made of a wooden frame with either rope or cotton tape strappings.

A slice of life story depicting the diversity of our country.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee