Rasib Khan: interview transcript

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Rasib Khan: interview transcript

Rasib Khan is a labourer living in Akhoon Bandi village, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.  He was 28 when he was interviewed on 18 January 2010 for the Rural Poverty Report 2011. The interview was recorded in the language of Hindko and carried out by a staff member from the Omar Asghar Khan Development Foundation. The interviewer had an existing relationship with the community but was not a professional researcher.


Assalam-o-Alaikum (greeting)
Walaiko assalam (greeting)

My name is Rasib Khan and I am working with Omar Asghar Khan Foundation. The Foundation is working on a poverty assessment survey in collaboration with United Nations which regularly publishes a report every 10 years on rural poverty containing suggestions on reduction of poverty. Presently this work is underway in six countries, and Pakistan is one of them. Village Akhoon Bandi (your village) is one of the places (in Pakistan) which have been selected for this work. In this respect we would like to conduct your interview and request your permission to record it. Is it okay for us to record it?
Jee (okay) do it.

And do we have your permission to take your picture as well?
Theek hai Jee (alright).

Do you have any objection?
No, I don't have any objection.

Now, may I request you to introduce yourself?
My name is Rasib Khan; my father's name is Afsar Khan. I live in Akhoon Bandi. I was born on February 4th 1981. I was very young and was studying. In my home, we are a total of four people. My father has passed away. I have a sister, a mother and two brothers. My sister is married. Now we are three people at home.

Can you please tell me more about your family?
We have spent our time in poverty. My father died when I was young. I don't recall too much but my mother used to tell me the ways that he would do farming. He used to harvest arum with other things. He would do godi (weeding) of garlic. He harvested wheat etc. In this way he did farming. And then my father also educated me and I studied. I have studied 10 classes. After failing two subjects, I left. Due to a lack of resources I was unable to study. Then I left the school. Then I did farming. I did godi with another farmer. I delivered fuel wood to others. Time passed in this way. We, still… my father was in the Civil Hospital Abbottabad for about two months for treatment for cancer. We then took him to Pindi (Rawalpindi). He died. After this, our household affairs were very tough… We studied and also educated my younger brother. Some one gave 100 or 50 rupees (1.2 or 0.6 US$)1 to mother and  we spent our time in this way. Farming – we don't have any land, or own houses in which our uncle has a share. And apart from this we don't have any support. Nothing. We do our work and pass the time. After this we… I have a younger brother, he cut wood and brought it from the mountains, I studied, and did weeding after studies. We went [to work] with a truck, and did work with a trolley. I worked as a conductor. I didn't get any benefit. The man (driver) was the kind who didn't teach us. Then I sat at home.

Since my sister's marriage, about seven months have passed. We took a loan from some relatives to arrange her marriage. At present, we are in debt of up to 200,000 rupees. The loan is still outstanding. We are thinking of purchasing a cow or buffalo and then its sale will help us to repay the loan. And income from a daily wage job will help to repay the loan taken to buy a cow or a buffalo.  The situation is very critical, at this time. Because we don't have any other support. There is no support from any paternal or maternal uncle, there is no support. There is no one who will help in times of difficulty. No one is there. Not only are we working, so is our mother…Someone brought material for stitching. She makes clothes. Passes time by sewing. And there is no one like her. Our father did weeding himself a lot. He did farming, but got nothing in return. And at that time, no one asked for share-cropping. They gave 300 rupees as a daily wage. If someone asked for help they went, for work. If no one asked then they just remained at home. I keep on trying to get labour nowadays, but there is no work at all. 

Can you please tell me something about your childhood?
Regarding my childhood, it is such that I studied in the primary school in Akhoon Bandi. Our teacher was from Peri Bandi (a village), his name is Daud Shah. He used to give us books etc. When my father died I was in 1st class. My father died. He used to get books and copies from the teacher and help in this way. He taught me up to 5th class. After that I joined the high school in Peri Bandi.. I studied up to 10th class there. Then, I would sometimes do labour after getting permission from my teachers to be absent. I used the trolley to transport produce and supported my family with the income I earned from it. They used to give 150 rupees for loading and unloading at that time. Our household expenses were met in this way. I used to take two to three days off every week for labour activities. And we passed our lives in that way. And my sister used to earn some income from tailoring but now she is married. About seven months have passed since her marriage. My mother is our councillor … Haji Basheer Sahib (the Urdu equivalent of Sir, used as a mark of respect) put forward my mother's name to contest the local government elections and she won unopposed.

After that our district Nazim (mayor) contacted us, and a local Member of Parliament also came to seek our vote. They requested us to cast our vote for the Nazim (mayor) they were supporting. Before that another also came. He said he would give us 150, 000 rupees if we cast our vote for the candidate he was supporting. We said: "We don't cast our vote in this way." He asked: "Why?" We told him that Yousaf Ayub is related to us on our mother's side. Our mother is fromRehana (a village) and we are related to him. That's why we will cast our vote for him. And Yousaf Ayub‘s brother, Gohar Ayub, came to us and promised a job to my brother or myself if we cast our vote for Yousaf Ayub. The other person did not ask then.

After that, I went to the Tehsil Nazim (mayor at sub-district level), and requested him that…  I am going to set up a cart in the local bazaar and asked him to allow me to do so by endorsing my documents. He said he would not endorse them. I told him that my mother is a councillor and that she cast her vote for him. He said, after the mission of getting his candidate elected as Nazim that he had no time for us, and refused to acknowledge my mother. I said: "OK." Then I have a friend in the bazaar Naib Nazim (Deputy Mayor), I gave him the application and got him to do the endorsement. Then I installed a cart. I sold fruit for four to five months at the bazaar. I would buy from the market on credit and repay it from the proceeds of the sale of fruit. That's the way we met household expenses. And then the government removed all the carts from the main bazaar [on the grounds that they were an encroachment on public space] and so then I came home. I did labour in the village. I used to work on farms. Then after four months, I again went to Yousaf Khan for signatures, for the reinstallation of the cart. He replied that it is a thoroughfare and that there is also a shrine. He said that he would not allow carts in the main bazaar. Then I returned. Then in the local committee Metha Shah came and the Tehsil Nazim invited me to install the cart and gave his permission after signing. Then for approximately five to six months I sold fruit. Then once again the carts were removed as an encroachment. They took away the carts and burnt them. After that the carts were no good. I came back to the village and did labour with trolleys or took whatever job was available. If someone needs labour for farming or weeding, or cutting wood – I would do it. If I was asked to bring mud, I brought it. In this way the time has passed.

Can you please tell me something about farming?
Farming - the weeding of garlic. I don't have any property. If someone asks for help with weeding then I do it and I get paid for it. I also used to harvest maize and wheat. I also helped pick seasonal fruit like loquat. And I was paid for the labour.

Can you share more about how the family affairs were run after the passing of your father?
My father... I was young. My father fell ill. He suffered from cancer. He died at the hospital while under treatment. He had asked for money for his treatment. He died as a result of God's wishes. Before this my father was also engaged in farming, our mother told us. He was a tenant on land owned by others and cultivated arum for the landowner. He also did weeding where garlic was cultivated. He used to cut wood and at that time his daily wage was 70-80 rupees. That income helped to meet the household expenses. After that he died. My mother was given a sewing machine and she learnt how to do tailoring and earned 70-80 rupees per outfit. These days she earns 100-150 rupees per outfit. Out of the earnings [she] gives 70-80 rupees for household expenses. Also she gives 5-10 rupees for school. We were young and immature – with little understanding. Some people would harvest the wheat and give a share of the grains to the poor from it. After grinding them my mother gave us bread sometimes. But sometimes there was nothing at home.

Can you please share more details of farming and weeding?
There is our Haji Sahib and he has about 9 or 10 kanal (0.506 ha; 1 kanal = 506m²) of cultivable land. He used to grow cauliflower. We did weeding of the cauliflower that he grew. At that time he used to give 150 rupees as a daily wage per day. We used to do weeding in his fields for up to seven days. We did weeding. And he gave us money. Then at night we went along with him to water the crop. We did not take any money for watering. Then we used to harvest the cauliflower. After cutting we used to load it on vehicles and send it to market.

The landowners would go to the market for selling and give us a daily wage. Later, sowing was started for the wheat crop. Wheat - we would also harvest at night. It was hot during the day and harvesting was difficult. And he used to give us one sack of grain. Six or seven people used to be there. After that he grew sugarcane. We did weeding of the sugarcane. And when it was ready, the landowner would sell it and give us a daily wage. We were friends with him. Then he grew kamad (sugarcane). Then we would do its weeding and give water, etc. We would water the crop through makeshift water channels used for irrigation. Then we went with him to another village called Bandhi where we crushed the sugarcane and made molasses. We spent the whole night there. We came back the next morning. He gave us 2kg of molassesper person.

 

Can you tell me more about kamad?
Kamad issugarcane - a variety of sugarcane that is used to make molasses. There is also another sugarcane that is eaten raw. The landowners cultivated sugarcane for two seasons, and I worked with them for these two seasons. After that, I used to do farming for Qayyum baba in Mohri(a village). He cultivated garlic and paid me a daily wage. They gave a daily wage of 150 rupees and also gave meals and tea, etc. Even now garlic is growing there and we are doing its weeding etc. We work in the fields as our life passes by.

My younger brother works as a labourer with masons. In this way… I do farming. I am working on people's farms. I give them water. These days there is a shortage of water which is causing difficulties. Because of low rainfall our area is facing a scarcity of food grain. If water is available then I will give water to the loquats grown by a friend. Because during the day others use water for their farms and do not allow us to do so, and that is why we do the watering at night, with the expectation that when the loquat is ready for picking he will give us some work. Instead of sitting idly, l will go with my friend to give water to his loquats. Wheat has been sown in the remaining fields but at present our country is experiencing drought-like conditions. There is a curse from God. There is water beyond Nowshera (a town in NWFP) and there is also water available in villages near our village, Mohri. These villages have water but our village is experiencing drought-like conditions, because there is nothing these days. God is running our system. If we get daily wage work for a few days then we earn a living and we are hopeful that God will provide.

Please tell me more about the types of sugarcane?
The crop of the sugarcane has small pieces, these are buried in the land [and act as "seeds" for the next crop]. The entire sugarcane is buried in the land for one year and it becomes [ripe] kamad (sugarcane) from which small pieces can be eaten raw or sugarcane juice can be extracted. The other type is used for making molasses. After crushing the sugarcane its juice is poured into a big pot for boiling. When the juice becomes thick, molasses are made. We sell the sugarcane juice in the bazaar, [from the crop] that the landlord has cultivated. He used to take it to the market in Haripur. He loaded one vehicle with sugarcane daily. He cultivated sugarcane in about 9 to 10 kanals. We used to work with him on sugarcane and cut it for daily wages. We would clean it and then take it. On a daily basis we used to take about 30 or 40 maund (about 1,600 kg) in a vehicle. And he used to sell it.

You said that your village is experiencing drought-like conditions. Can you please tell us more about it?
Previously there was more rainfall. Water was easily available. And people cultivated multiple crops. For about one year or perhaps more, there have been no rains. We don't have a natural spring in the area. The adjoining storm water drain is nearly dry - the water level has decreased. That is why people are suffering. People don't have enough water for crops these days. People go in search of water in the night, but do not find any. They block the channels in the fields belonging to others and divert the water to their own fields in the darkness of the night.       It's very difficult. We have cultivated wheat these days. But it is not as it was in the past. Crops were good three or four years ago. The crops are not as they were in the past. That is why farming has declined. People now only cultivate wheat. In the past people used to cultivate garlic, arum and turmeric. People do not cultivate crops as they did in the past. Presently, if out of 100 people one person cultivates garlic, it's a great thing. In the past they cultivated cauliflower and every kind of vegetable and crop including gourd. The reason is that there is a scarcity of rain. Crops are less due to a shortage of water. Only wheat is cultivated and harvested. Any more… nothing. God is upset with us, that is why there is scarcity of rains and people are suffering. Areas above and below our village have enough water, but we do not have any.

How come the other areas have water?
They have a natural spring.

Could you tell me more about the natural spring?
It's a natural spring. God has provided us with the water, which comes out of the land. Water comes out of the mountain. The water comes through the stream. An adjoining village has water provided by God to them, which comes from the mountains. No boring or any other system exists here. There is nothing. Water is coming out of land, provided by God.

Is it important for a person to have his own land? And why?
Yesif God provides land then one should have his own land. As for a poor man it is very essential. He prepares the land and does weeding. If he works for another person then he has to follow the rules set by the other person, e.g. arrive at 8am and leave by 5pm. And one has to work according to his demands and instructions…The person who has his own land is very lucky. We do not have land at all and we used to work on others' fields for daily wages. If we owned land, I would cultivate wheat. Presently rates are quite high. Flour is quite costly. In our village flour is about 650 or 700 rupees per 20 kg bag. That is why if we have our own land then we have our own wheat. Wheat takes six months to be ready for cultivation and for the remaining six months of the year one is relieved from the tension of getting flour. One can manage to have his own flour. Then cultivate maize crop... But we don't have crop… crop? Don't have land. We only have a house, nothing else…

Could you please tell me how do you manage your household?
In the past our household system was that there was water available, there was rain. People cultivated crops. We used to do labour in the fields, and by doingweeding we were passing our lives. With our daily earnings we purchased groceries from the shop. That is how we passed our lives. Our mother did some tailoring; that is how some time passed. About 6 months have passed since my sister was married. We borrowed about 20,000 rupees from our relatives by collecting 2,000 rupees from some and 5,000 from others. Out of which we paid 10,000 rupees for furniture purchased in Haripur.  We paid another 10,000 rupees to purchase utensils. Groceries such as flour, sugar, tea, cooking oil, etc, we bought on credit. At present, we still have an outstanding debt of 75,000 rupees for furniture. To be paid to the person we bought the furniture from. And we still have to pay another 38,000 rupees for utensils. We brought them from Havelian (a city). I also have to repay about 8,000-9,000 rupees to the grocery shop. We are worried about that, how will we be able to return it. Because we – both brothers –  do not have any income. We are at the mercy of God. We keep on the lookout for work. If someone asks us to work with masons… because there isn't any work in the fields these days. If in a month we are able to earn a few daily wages then it's all right. Otherwise there isn't any work. These days, people do not have enough capital to invest in cultivating crops, and ask us to help in weeding. The situation is very bad, it is difficult. Sometimes I take a loan, or borrow 50 rupees to buy flour, sugar and pulses etc. My mother used to tailor about seven or eight dresses in a month. She did tailoring in the past, but now her eyesight is weak and she can no longer do that kind of tailoring. She can't work as she did in the past.

She does housework, washes the utensils and prepares roti (literally, bread; by extension, a meal). She used to do tailoring in the past, about seven or eight dresses in a month. People would pay 50 rupees per dress. My younger brother was studying. It has been about a month or a month and a half and he is now sitting idle as he has completed studies up to the 10th class. Now, if someone asks, he does labour with masons; otherwise he brings wood from the mountains. So for the past nine to 10 months I have not had any work… Nobody has asked me to do any labour for him. I have been idle at home for the past nine to 10 months. My mother constantly tells me to go look for work… I often go and ask people whether they have any work for me. There is a lot of unemployment. There is a bus stop in Baldhair (a village), where we ask our friends to take us in their truck. Conditions are so bad that nobody takes us. After my sister's wedding, the owner of the furniture shop would harass us. There is a Khushali Bank in Haripur.I took a loan of 15, 000 rupees from it and paid 10,000 rupees to the owner of the furniture shop. I paid 3,000 rupees I owed to the grocery shop. 

Please tell me more about the loan?
I have to repay money owed to the furniture shop, the utensils shop. I also have to return 100 or 50 rupees borrowed from others. I have to pay 75,000 rupees to the owner of the furniture shop, and 38,000 rupees for the utensils and 10,000 to the grocery shopkeeper. I am trying my best – may God provide some source of livelihood and save 100 or 50 rupees to pay amounts due to people.

How were you able to take the loan from Khushali Bank? Please, tell me more.
The bank has a team which identifies the poor in a village who want to work or start a business or those that are indebted. That team helps in getting a loan. And repayment is in monthly instalments. Each monthly instalment is 1,600 rupees and the loan is repaid in 11 instalments. The last instalment is of 1,475 rupees but the first 10 are 1,600 rupees per month. One of my friends is repaying the loan and he is the one who helped me to get the loan. We are a group of seven people. They took loans of 15,000 rupees each for their own purposes and I took it so that my creditors don't harass me too much. And the friend who helped me get the loan is also helping me with the repayments. He has his own shop… he is paying my instalments and has said to me that I can repay him whenever I get some money.

Please could you share with us any unforgettable incident that has happened in your life?
Yes I suffered from jaundice, about two or three years ago. My health deteriorated because of it. My mother would pay for my treatment by taking loans from her relatives. My mother often suffers from joint pains, and remains anxious. There is no income. How will we live our lives? If our mother falls ill then we face hardships, and then we also are not able to have any roti (bread). We would give dough to neighbours to cook our roti (bread). Otherwise my grandmother cooks roti (bread) for us. We pray to God for our mother's health. The situation is not good. In our house we have only our mother, ‘who put her hand on our head'(supports us);we are dependent on her. My younger brother brings wood from the mountains. We have a water pipeline to our house but it is blocked. There is no water available. Water is fetched from the house of our neighbour, Mr Safdar. My mother fetches the water from his house as we don't go there and as there are women there.

Where did you get treatment for your jaundice?
I was treated by a person from Balakot (a city). He provides medicinal herbs for treatment. I took the herb water but I was not cured by it. Then I went to the factory in Wah, Baba chowk, where a Baba (old man) lives. He comes from some other place. He is disabled and only has one leg. I went to him and asked him to pray for me. He gave me some tablets and herbal powder and I took them on an empty stomach. I also had cooling things like yoghurt, etc. And by the grace of God I was cured… For about two or two and a half months I suffered with jaundice and I stayed at home. And with his prayers and medicines God granted me health. My mother borrowed money from her sister to buy medicines. Also they are asking for repayment. We tell them that when I get some work I will return the money… the situation is dire and as time passes it is getting worse. I still have to repay her money. My treatment costs about 8,000 rupees or 9,000, that too on herbal medicine. If I had gone to a hospital, the expenditure would have been greater. The medicines from hospitals don't cure jaundice as one has to eat cooling things for jaundice. Herbs taken for it are more effective. If one goes to the hospital, they give a drip or give tablets – which are more potent and one feels greater pain. I did go to the hospital, but I did not get any relief. So then I started the herbal treatment… From the person in the Wahfactory... I would have yoghurt, curd and porridge. I had many pieces of sugarcane and sugarcane juice or spinach and the like without any spices.

Please tell me more about the existing facilities of your house.
We get water from our neighbour's house for drinking and for domestic use. In terms of facilities, we have electricity… but no other facilities. Do you understand?… and the rest you can see, the house which is a katcha (mud house),and the external wall is about to fall and I do not have money to get a mason to repair it…

Could you please tell me something about your cattle (livestock)?
We had two goats. We gave one to our relatives. They told us that they will keep the offspring of the goat and return the goat to us but the goat died in their house. We have another goat, we let it loose in the mountains in the morning for grazing and she returns home herself. Apart from that we don't have any buffalo or cow or hen.

Did you receive any money for the goat that died, or not?
No. We did not take any money. It does not matter. They slaughtered it in the name of God. We said it was OK. We bring milk from our neighbour, Kala Paji (brother). He has a buffalo; we bring only enough milk for one cup of tea in the morning as we do not have enough money to make tea in the evening as well. That too we bring on credit. In case we have any money, we give it to him or pay with old (dried) bread. They give milk to us in exchange for old bread. Our own goat doesn't give milk etc. We pay 10 rupees to buy 250 grams of milk. That is how we live our lives.

What difference do you see between your present and your childhood?
I think that my childhood was better. My present life is difficult. We did not have much understanding in our childhood. After the death of my father, my mother had to bear all the responsibility. I got education up to 5th class from the school in my village. When I was in the 6th class I came to know that our mother does tailoring to meet the household expenses. She borrowed from others for us. I also worked with a trolley. That life was better. And now the entire burden is on our shoulders. And I don't have any work or job and also have responsibilities. That is the trouble. That's why my childhood was better.

Could you please tell me more about this?
I do not get any job. There is unemployment. Both brothers are unemployed. If we get any job we do it. God has given us life. We don't have any work. What to do? Should we bang our heads? There is no hope from anywhere. Everyone we approach has his own problems. If we ask for a loan from someone, he turns around and talks of his own problems. Then we become helpless and cannot ask for a loan. I am engaged to be married. We do not have enough money. Because in our house it is essential for one brother to be married. We do not have the money. Should I get married or construct a house? Should I construct a house first? For a house there are logs of wood in my house… I could tear them down and make a new house. I was engaged to be married with Rehana about seven or eight years ago. Her family is asking us to arrange the marriage. We can't afford it and do not have any money. As we still have to repay the huge loan taken for my sister's wedding. When the loan is repaid, then I will get married. Her family is telling us to arrange the marriage… but there is no money. Not for a house… first I will build a house and then get married.

You had stated that one should own some land. Do you think it is also essential to have cattle? If yes, why?
One should have his own cattle. Because milk costs 10 rupees/250 gram. If one has his own, then this is also a saving. One has curdand also has his own butter. Or if one is desperate for money, one can sell a buffalo or cow and make do. If a brother or sister falls ill then the cattle can be sold to pay for treatment. Cattle are also important. We do not have any land or any other thing. Even if we have cattle there is just not enough space in the house to keep cattle.

Can you tell us more about your education? Did you attempt to retake the two subjects that you failed in your matriculation?
I failed in two subjects in the matriculation exam and then did not have enough money to get re-admitted and continue my education, and also clear the remaining two subjects. We didn't have money for admission that's why I dropped out of school. The younger brother was studying. I thought that I should do labour and he should continue his studies. We educated him. Only because of money… There is no work… no income. And our father had also died, that's why we were not able to continue our education. We were not able to educate ourselves... we did not have any money. Even in the past the school would waive our admission fee and also give us free books. The student that had completed his studies would pass on his books to us. In our village there is no education as the school is only up to the 5th class. After that from the 6th to the 10th class we have to go to a school in Peri Bandi. We went there to get education. And if God had provided us with money then we would have continued our education. And if God had given us a job in a factory or in the army or in the police we would have got a livelihood and our mother, brother, sisters would have been able to live an easier life. First of all education in our village… There isn't education… only up to the 5th class. After that one has to go far away for education. Those that are able to afford it go to schools in Haripur and Havelian.

What do you do if, God forbid, there is any illness in your home?
If someone falls ill in our house, jee (well)… If my mother or my brother falls ill then we take them to Havelian or Abbottabad for treatment as there is no hospital or doctor nearby. We have to go the civil hospital in Havelian or to the medical complex in Abbottabad or go to any health facility in Haripur.

Apart from this, has anyone in the family been sick?
Apart from this my mother is ill. She has joint pain. We take her to Havelian to get medicines.

Can you please tell me how you look at your future?
May God give me a job. Any work or a permanent job. Then first of all I will build my house, and then send my mother for Haj (pilgrimage). And then after that I would try to get my younger brother a job somewhere. By the way, our neighbour is in Islamabad, in Islamia University… this way he has constructed a house and is looking after his mother. We also wish to keep our mother in the same way… even better than that. But God is unhappy with us and there is no work. If by the grace of God we get a job we would first improve our house, then send our mother for Haj, then I would get married to arrange my brother's marriage. The system in our house is such that if my mother falls ill then we are all disturbed. There is no one else at home to cook a meal for us.

 

What plans do you have to improve your condition? If things do not improve then what will you do?
Bus jee (yes)… for betterment I think that if I get any work... or an income. If I do not get any income or livelihood my condition will worsen in future… there will be increased poverty. As I do not think there is any chance of improvement. Even now, we owe 200,000 rupees which we have to repay. And then I have to arrange my marriage and arrange for my mother to perform Haj … this is very difficult. As time is passing, the situation is becoming worse. Unemployment is increasing, there are no jobs.

You have mostly worked in the fields of other people. What is your view on agricultural practices of the past and present?
There is a lot of difference. These days there is greater poverty. In the past people would cultivate cabbage, garlic, as there were better seeds. At the time seeds cost 400 to 600 rupees per maund (40kg) but now it costs 12,000 to 6,000 rupees. As people are poor they do not grow vegetables but only grow wheat and maize. They do not cultivate any other crop. They cultivated in the past but don't do so now due to the price hike. We meet our household expenses through wheat harvesting. In the past agriculture was difficult as then ploughing was done with oxen and now it is done with tractors. Tractors cost 700 to 750 rupees per hour. Those that own land use tractors for farming. They grow wheat and maize on a seasonal schedule. Apart from that, those that have livestock use its manure in their fields. Those that own land sell the manure to others. They sell it for 700 to 800 rupees per tractor load of manure. As there are tractors now agriculture is not as difficult as it was in the past. In the past threshers were not available, people would harvest crops by hand. In these days in an hour or half an hour they bring the grain home. Thresher is the machine that threshes wheat. In the past there was no machine and people would thresh wheat on flat land compacted and plastered with mud prepared for this purpose. Or there were big drums that were used for this purpose. Or sifting was done by beating on rocks. But these days there are machines and sifting is done by feeding wheat in from one side and getting the grain from the other. And people bring the grain home.

Is there any other thing about your life which you would like to share?
May God grant me livelihood. If I find some work I will do it, if I get some money… I can only take it from a bank… a loan etc. to do business. First of all I hope previous loans are repaid, if I get a job I will do it; otherwise I will do daily wage work and pass my life that way.

Would you like your interview to be published in IFAD's 2010 report?
Yes definitely.

Is there anything you have said in the interview that you would not want to be published?
Naheen jee (no). Everything should be published.

Would you like your interview to be published in your name or with a pseudonym?
With my real name which my parents have kept for me.

Would you like the recording of your interview or a printed copy?
I do not want a recording. Give me that which comes from there. We should also know what has been written.

Thank you very much Rasib. You narrated the story of your life and your condition. Thank you for that and for giving time.
I thank you too for coming to our home and asking about our life situation. Such people are not there that talk to the poor. We are thankful to you, bohat shukriya (thank you very much).


Average exchange rate, (83.58 rupees = 1 US$) January 2009, Interbank rate, source: www.oanda.com