Smoking a beedi, a traditional Indian cigarette, he looks like any other ordinary villager at first glance, but he is not. Devjibhai Dhamnecha, now aged 75, is a school dropout and nature lover who has dedicated the last two decades of his life to protecting the ecology of Little Rann of Kutch, an arid desert in the state of Gujarat in western India. It is the last remaining habitat of the Indian wild ass (local name: #dhorkhur), an endangered species with a total surviving population of only 3800, all living in the Little Rann area. Without any institutional sponsorship, he has teamed up with local villagers and non-profit organizations to pressure the government into declaring the area a protected wildlife reserve. He’s shown how an ordinary man can make an extraordinary contribution to environmental conservation.
Photographer: Karan Desai
I am a graduate student who grew up in the busting metropolis of Mumbai, and traveled halfway across the globe and across cultures to the US to get a masters degree in electrical engineering. However, what has remained constant is my love for nature, travel, and photography. #wwshero #wwsplaces #wwsstories