Xavier Galiana

Toiling High
Public Story
Toiling High
Copyright Xavier Galiana 2022
Updated Jul 2020
Location Tangste
Topics Photography
Hundreds of miles from their homes, a group of labourers are toiling in a cold Indian Himalayan desert to repair some of the world's highest roads.

Stationed near Chang La pass which is perched at a height of 5,360m (17,590 feet), the 13 men, whose home is the low-lying eastern state of Jharkhand, have little experience of cold climes.

They have been hired for four months in the Tangtse district of Ladakh, where blizzards can rage throughout the year, to ensure that the key tourist route to the picturesque Nubra Valley and Pangong lake is in good condition.

Their back-breaking stint will fetch them 40,000 rupees (US$572) each - a considerable sum in a country where more than 21 per cent of the 1.3 billion population lived on less than two dollars a day in 2011.
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