Just outside India's capital, Delhi, is the city of Gurgaon. Gurgaon is undergoing a construction boom fuelled by the new metro link to the capital, and Delhi's ever-growing need for young professionals.
At some stage in its manufacture almost every brick in the country has been carried by a donkey. In Gurgaon donkeys also work in lieu of cranes.
Gurgaon, also known as Gurugram, is witnessing rapid urbanisation. It’s become a leading financial and industrial hub, with the third-highest per-capita income in India.
The donkeys carry bricks, and sand and crushed stone for mortar. They walk up as many as twelve flights of stairs. Each brick weighs 2.5kg and there are 25 bricks in each load.
Unlike cranes, donkeys are able to deliver bricks and mortar directly to the working bricklayers.
The donkeys work from 8am to 3pm, after which they are fed and allowed to socialise and groom each other.
Suchita Gadad is a Donkey Sanctuary India Education Officer and conducts welfare assessments at the building sites. As well as examining the donkeys, she also has to understand the lives of the donkey owners so that she is able to offer realistic support and advice. To do this, she visits the owners in their own homes.
The workers and their donkeys live on the building site and will more on to another building site when the work here is over. Tracking and maintaining ties with itinerant donkey owners is one of the major challenges for The Donkey Sanctuary India.