Shakil a donkey working on a construction site in Gurgaon climbs the stairs to deliver a load of bricks. The city outside Delhi, is undergoing a boom in construction fuelled by the new Metro link and Delhi's need for young professionals.
Modern India is built on the backs of donkeys. Shakil's owner Sudha, and her family, own 14 donkeys acquired over two and a half years at a cost of between 3 - 10,000 Rupees each (30 - 100 GBP), depending on its condition. The donkeys carry bricks, sand and crushed stone for mortar and may have to walk up twelve flights of stairs. Each brick weighs 2.5kg and there are 25 bricks in a load. Working hours are 8.00am – 3.00pm after which the donkeys will be fed and allowed to socialise and groom each other. They eat channa, hay, pulses and jagari. Sudha says the feed for the 14 donkeys costs 6,000 (60 GBP) Rupees per week.