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My guide Pavitran was of the opinion that we needed to drive 80 Kms away from Bhuj to a place called Parkar Vas, which is where the Rabari influence is strong.
Also, it is a fact that Parkar Vas is the place where the renowned Kala Raksha Trust is located.
By the way, Kala Raksha is a trust run by a selfless American lady – Judy Frater who has spent nearly 25 years living in Kutch. They worship Mataji Sikotara, Momaya, Loladi, Bhed, Vankol, Amba, Khodiar and Hinglaj.
As my car sped out of the narrow alleyways of Bhuj to the deserted highway, I could sense an all-encompassing silence descending. Women do household work while the men folk are mostly in the desert with their sheep and camels.
Today it is clear that in modern India their way of life is in trouble.
The Rabari population is estimated to be about 2,700,000.
Having spent long years in this part of the world promoting Rabari craftsmanship, Judy is much concerned to see the disparities of pricing in the international market for textiles.
A hand woven Rabari bag costs around Rs.150/- in India but the moment these products reach any Western country, their price is ten times more and charged around $ 80.
So the first thing I did upon my arrival at Ahmedabad was to frankly speak out my mind to the Tourist Officer to provide me with an opportunity to spend more time at Kutch, which is where most Rabaris live.
We started our journey to Kutch, Bhuj to be precise early in the morning.
By the time we arrived at Bhuj Tourist Bungalow, it was evening.