The Bishnoi of Jodhpur: They Speak for the Trees
They call them “Eco Warriors”. They are the Bishnoi people of Jodhpur. The story goes that the Bishnoi live under the twenty-nine precepts established by their prophet, Lord Jhambheshwar. These include no killing or eating of animals, no cutting down of living trees and no alcohol consumption. Though they apparently are not opposed to a bit of opium every once in a while. But that is another story. So, in 1730 when a Bishnoi woman, Amrita Devi protested at trees being cut by the Maharaja – she gave her life up to save the trees and another 363 villagers followed soon after. India’s own Lorax as it were. Now they farm millet and occasionally entertain tourist with a traditional opium ceremony. We missed that one. Apparently they are still fervent protectors of the trees and will still do most anything to protect them and the area’s wild life.