Pakistan, Asia

PAK03 - Pakistan Flood Relief: Partnership Reports



Other Reports Available:


Print friendly version

Back to Partnership


Report Date: June 20, 2011

Update from Azam Gill

 

On 28 May 2011, I visited Chanda Singh village where 12 houses have been built and all the houses are now completed. I interviewed all 12 families and their stories are below:

New home owner
 

 

1) Javed Masih & his wife Perveen, have been married 7 years and have two daughters Simran (6 years old) and Irm (5 years old).  They are living in Chanda Singh, Javed was born in this village but could not go to school.  He did not learn any trade but is just doing work as a building laborer or working in other people's fields for a little income. They have two cattle, a cow and calf. They have had no wash room and no kitchen.  They are very grateful and happy to have their own house.

New home owner
 

 

2) James Masih & his wife Rukhsana have been married 15 years.  They have five daughters and two sons.  He works in the fields and owns a small piece of land for cultivation. He also has skin diseases on his body which I saw so he cannot do much work. His wife and children support him much. They have two cows. I asked if he had any complaints and he said "none but we are very happy and thankful to receive a new house from BHW."

 

 

New home owner
 

3) Liqat Masih is married to Elishba and has some family problems. He seems to be mentally ill and his wife has left him. Now he is living with his 80 year old mother and two other brothers, they are all in one compound. Along with his other brothers they also have a small piece of land for cultivation and have a few cattle such as cows and buffalo. They want to sell their small piece of land which I have a desire to buy to use for community development projects, such as a sewing centre or a school for village children. I did offer them Rs. 2,00,000 (US$2,400) because land is cheap in villages. They agreed if they are paid. However they are so grateful for what BHW has done for them to build their new house which is an extra-ordinary relief and gift for them.

 

New home owner
 

4) Shamim bibi has been a widow for 20 years. She has 5 daughters and 3 sons, 2 of her children are married. One son, Firyad, finished college but couldn't find a job and works in the fields now. She worked hard to raise her 8 children. She also has a few cattle.  In this village almost every family has cattle, that is their savings actually. Shamim has a prayer request for assistance for her daughter's wedding which will take place within one year. Like others she was very much thankful with a lot of prayers to have her own house built. I was told that all of her children have some sort of education, something I didn't see in other family's children.

 

New home
 

5) Ashiq Masih is 50 years of age and is married to Khursheed bibi. They have 3 sons and 4 daughters. No child goes to school. He is a boatman, his monthly income is almost Rs 800 (US$100). He owns 2 cows and has a small piece of land for cultivation.  I visited his corn field. He received 10,000 bricks and 3 beams for his house roofing which means his house is bigger than others. (Other families received 8,000 bricks and 2 iron beams). He also has requested some financial assistance for his daughter's wedding who is engaged. He is one of the key men among Christians in the village.

His 20 year old son is addicted.  I counselled him and his father together because they were looking for a girl for this guy to marry and wanted me to pray. I told them that you have to stop this bad habit first otherwise you will destroy the life of a girl also. Further I said, what if we are looking for a boy for our own girl, and the boy is involved in addictions. Will it not be so sad and painful? They kept silent. We want people to be changed not only financially but morally and spiritually also.

 

New home
 

6) Arif Masih is 25 years of age and has been married to Rizia bibi for 7 years. They have 3 children including a 5 year old daughter Mehnoor who goes to school. His monthly income is Rs. 7000 (US$85). His wife also works with him in the fields. They have 2 cattle. I asked them if BHW provided you with 2-3 cattle can you grow them up with partnership? Yes, he replied.  Almost all families were interested in a growing animal project because it can help them to grow financially and socially. Business can make people busy in villages, otherwise people can be lazy and get involved in other bad or useless activities. Do you smoke? No he said. Where is your wife? She is in the fields working he explained. He was alone in his newly built house when I interviewed him. Are you happy to have a new house? Of course sir, we are very happy and grateful he said.

 

New home owner
 

7) Akbar Masih is 60 yers old. He has 9 children, 5 sons and 4 daughters. He has no piece of land for cultivation but has a small plot for his house. He has a few cattle. He does boating to earn and income and sometime earns Rs. 200 or 300 (US$3 or $4 per day) I asked him what he would do if he was given Rs. 84,000? He said he would buy a new boat because his boat is very old. His 3 sons are also working with him to support the family but the prices of the things are so high and it is difficult to feed the family well. He also requested help to buy a door and windows for his house.

 

New home owner
 

8) Mindar Masih's wife Bashir bibi is dead. He has one son and 6 daughters. His income is similar to the other villagers. He is the younger brother of Mr Akbar and they live in the same compond but have their own homes. During the flooding his 7 cattle were washed away in the water. He was the most affected person in Chanda Singh by the floods. One cattle is worth Rs. 50,000 to 60,000 (US$600 to 700). He has no land for cultivation, actually land for cultivation is by inheritance or some have bought it. In this village only a few Christian families have their own piece of land.

 

New home owners
 

9) Bagh Masih is 73 years old.  He and wife Gulam bibi have been married 43 years. They have 4 sons and 7 daughters, one son and 3 daughters are married. His legs are almost paralyzed due to a snake bite and he uses a stick to walk. When I reached his room he was lying on his bed. He tried to get up but hardly managed to sit and talk to us. All his sons are addicts and all are staying with their needy old parents. I felt sorry for this sick old man disturbed by his children, but still he has no complaints. His wife and daughters work in fields and others homes, and support their household to survive. I saw their young daughters grazing cattle beside Sutluj river near their house.

 

New home owner
 

10) Iqbal Masih is 40 yeas of age and is a mason by trade.  His wife is Shrif bibi and they have been married for 18 years.  They have 3 children. This couple also have bought a plot of land on which to build his own house which can be seen in his family picture. He works in this village. If he cannot find work in the village then he goes to Kasur city some 50km from his place. His monthly income is nearly Rs. 15000 (US$175). He told me there are two schools in the village, one public and the other private. One of Iqbal's children goes to school. He also has two cattle. He is also very happy that BHW has built his house which is a big support for this family.

 

New home owner
 

11) Siad Masih is 69 years old and is another key man among the Christian community.  He is married to Binso bibi, they have 3 sons and 3 daughters, 4 are married. What is your biggest problem I questioned? The flooded river during rainy days he replied. But the river is also a source of water for fields, cattle and human beings where this river runs, I told him. The damage is once maybe after some years but the benefits are for longer I explained.

What I found here was that people were involved in personal/individual interests rather then united or community interests. I would like to do more for the community in the way of development programmes such as educational, vocational trainning for women, buy boats and cattle for needy families.

 

New home owner
 

12) Nazir Masih is 45 years of age and has been working in Punjab police department for 13 years.  He has 4 children - Sunil, Kirn, Waseem, Fasil and all his children attend school. He also has a small piece of land for cultivation and I had a chance to visit his corn field. "God has fulfilled my desire to have my own house in the village through BHW. Thank you very much BHW" he said. He also has given an apartment by the police department in Lahore, where he is currently living with his wife and children. His wife has a sewing certificate from a mission school in Dist. Kasure and she is interested to teach in a sewing center if BHW starts a sewing project in their village. They also have requested funds for a boundary wall.