India’s ‘ice cream exodus’

South Asia Uncategorized

Every summer, like the water in this parched land, young men ‘evaporate’ from the face of Bhilwara and other neighbouring districts in Rajasthan, West India, to look for work.

It’s unusual, almost surreal, to see women take the mantle during this period in this otherwise patriarchal society, known for its tales of valiant Rajput warriors and impregnable fortresses.

Unable to farm due to the lack of water, the hordes of young men, sometimes as young as nine, fan out to other parts of India to earn money to send home to support their families.

For more than twenty-five years, something as innocuous as ice-cream has rescued many of them from the hardships caused by the recurring drought.

Men from the region that once housed the erstwhile Mewad kingdom, travel as far as Assam and Tamil Nadu with recipes for "Mewad ice-cream" with hopes of making a tidy profit.