Construction work in Shadhra

In the narrow streets of Shadhra in New Delhi, construction materials can only be delivered so far by truck so people and donkeys must do the rest.

Brooke has been visiting a local construction contractor who employs six workers. They each have two donkeys and the contractor himself owns three. The workers earn 600INR (approximately £6) per 1,000 bricks they carry and the contractor earns 900INR (£9) for a completed job which he splits among his staff.

Working on a construction site.

In the past, workers had very little knowledge of how look after their donkeys properly. They were overloading them because the quicker a job got finished, the more they would earn. However, they didn’t realise how this was affecting their animals. Wounds caused by accidents or improper harnessing were treated by local healers, the only people they could turn to but their methods - such as using oil or turpentine - weren’t effective. In fact, they were often harmful.

Through word of mouth, the contractor heard about Brooke and contacted the local Veterinary Assistant and Community Motivator (VACM). The VACM visited the site with one of the Brooke vets and gave the construction workers advice on safe loads and avoiding injury.

The Brooke team now visits every 15 days and works directly with the contractor who reports any problems they have with their animals and receives advice about treatment and how to keep them healthy.