When two young women are hired to carry out conservation research, they discover that India is a large jungle - larger than they ever imagined. Their study of trees reveals a complex world in which the greatest threat to pangolins and imperilled species is Indian men and patriarchy.
Tramping across North India, the women encounter men, man-made obstacles, and bureaucratic corruption, but forge ahead with satire and self-deprecating humour. Their many stories give us the voices of people and species oppressed or marginalised. Several anecdotes show daily battles against research methods and policies that bury lived life in dry data.
Environmental research is more about lives and livelihoods than data, says Aditi Patil. She makes us feel the pulse of life hidden by statistics. Women farmers, forest dwellers, rustics, and researchers come exquisitely alive in this entertaining and persuasive book.