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Devshi and Santa Hirani chatting to another visitor at their local temple in the village of Baladia, near Bhuj. Recently retired they spent the majority of their working lives in Brent, in west London, where Devshi worked as a carpenter on construction projects and Santa as a dinner lady at a primary school. They have… Read more

Devshi and Santa Hirani chatting to another visitor at their local temple in the village of Baladia, near Bhuj. Recently retired they spent the majority of their working lives in Brent, in west London, where Devshi worked as a carpenter on construction projects and Santa as a dinner lady at a primary school. They have returned to Baladia to care for Santa’s elderly mother. Traditionally the men of Baladia and nearby villages specialised in the building trades, and were renowned for working alongside the British constructing the railway system, initially in India and then east Africa. Many then went onto live in Britain, and have since established many of London’s most successful construction companies.
From the exhibition India’s Gateway: Gujarat, Mumbai & Britain. Photo by Tim Smith.