Category: poor Initial wealth ranking: poor IDPM FINANCIAL DIARIES: SUMMARIES Bangladesh: Rural Code: GNP05 interview taken by: Saiful Islam and Eakub Site: Grampur Nichepur date: 16 November 2000 Principal respondent(s): Mr H and Mrs R This young couple is landless, living in a hut on land owned by others. Both are illiterate, and they have two small children of 4 and 1 year. H does farm labour, mainly for one employer in another village with whom he has a good relationship. He accepts his pay in a mix of cash and grain. He has also worked in labour gangs and in the pineapple gardens. R makes a very little money from occasional bamboo handicrafts. Their assets are almost non-existent and they patch together their food by taking very frequent small interest-free loans of cash and grain in small quantities from friends relatives and neighbours. These loans are sometimes hard to get. They also take goods on credit from the shop, sometimes. R has an NGO membership and saves there intermittently, and although they originally thought they couldn’t manage an NGO loan they have recently taken one, which is proving hard to handle. They put very small sums into a mud bank and H keeps some cash about his person. Happily, they are in reasonably good health despite some recent decline in his health. 1. Initial household profile: Name Relationship to household head self wife daughter son Sex Age Highest school grade 0 0 now in grade 1 Main livelihood activity/ies (or schooling) day labour home housework Other economic activities rickshaw van driving small handicrafts - H R Hazara Roni m f f m 26 20 4 1 2. Significant changes to household profile during research year: none, except that he worked a little less as his health declined 3. Residence: born and lived in this village all his life: owns his hut which is on land that was owned by his grandparents but has subsequently been seized by ‘clever’ neighbours 4. Tenure: lives in his own hut in another’s bari: no homestead or other land: one very small medium condition one-room hut (mud wall, old tin roof worth 700 taka ); small covered opensided cooking space 5. Other identities: Muslim 6. Public entitlements: none 7. Food habits: usually 3 rice meals a day, sometimes 2: some vegetables and fish, meat once monthly if lucky; some periods of low food intake 8. Significant assets: Asset type Homestead Land Farm land (state if irrigated) Home (equipment, furnishings etc) Machinery Livestock Description none none none: no furniture (they sleep on the earth) none 1 hen Value (if known or estimated) 75 taka 9. Significant changes to assets during research year: bought a second-hand radio (200 taka) 4 months ago 10. Income pattern: Household member H Income source casual farm labour, mainly for one employer occasional rickshaw driving Mrs R bamboo made items Frequency 15 to 22 days a month rare: 9 days only last year very occasional small Scale 30 to 50 taka + 2.5 kg paddy / day; estimate of 800 – 900 / month, plus some grain Comments - - 11. Expenditure pattern: Expenditure item food housing clothing education health other / occasional Scale small negligible 200 –300 in the year 5 or 6 taka in the year 185 taka in the year for girl in grade 1 for son’s measles and for H’s own health Comments they eat the rice he gets as pay-in-kind; fuel is gathered they haven’t spent this year as funds have been short: the roof needs repairing 12. Financial services/devices used during research year: Type MFI savings MFI loans Number of instances a few monthly deposits 1 Value(s) 20 taka a month, later 10 a month 2,000 Comments R joined Mauchas February 2000: didn’t intend to take loans taken recently from Mauchas: ‘my wife just copied what the other members did, and took a loan’ they store the MFI loan at home for some weeks H says ‘since I earn this by the sweat of my brow it is better to keep it close to me’ by R, but from her husband’s earnings was forced to leave some time back for lack of resources given to close neighbour, a vegetable seller, for safe keeping for friends sometimes finds it hard to get loans Saving in the home Saving on the person Mud bank ASCA savings Saving with a money guard Accepting savings as a money guard Interest free loans taken occasional occasional 2,000 small occasional, not regular 1 (not in the research year) occasional occasional (not in the research year) 13 small small 100 small 10 to 300 taka Interest free loans given Private loan taken on interest Private loan given on interest Goods bought on credit Selling labour in advance Interest free inkind loans taken 1 2 15 taka 200 and 500 taka both at 15% a month; first is old and hasn’t been serviced nor repaid; second is new he on-lent his NGO loan to his parents in law at 10% a month; considered very safe basic household goods on credit form shops from regular employer, easily got and repaid all negotiated by R from relatives and neighbours 1 occasional 1 7 2,000 small 200 1.5 to 2.5 kg rice 13. Cheating: none reported 14. Comments on financial services and devices: Said during early diaries they were not interested in NGO loans because too poor to make continuous repayments: now they have one they find if the most worrying part of their financial services portfolio. It is stressful because of the weekly repayments: if you don’t pay regularly you suffer from ‘bad words’ being spoken about you. Asked to say which service is best he said ‘how can I say? if I get money, then that’s good’. Then ‘howlats are best – they’re the easiest to manage’. 15. Recording financial service transactions: keeps it all in his memory, which isn’t difficult especially as he’s used to it 16. This year compared to previous years: slightly better as he got work more regularly: and despite a recent slight decline in his health he’s generally been more healthy this year. 17. Notable events, opinions, behaviour: Transaction summary for H OF NICHEPUR (05) MFI services: MFI savings: A: Mauchas (‘bee-keeping’). R joins Mauchas in February 2000. When we ask her about the rules, in May, she says she doesn’t know them. She just knows you can save and you can take loans. We don’t have good records of her early deposits but she says she has a balance of 105 taka in early May 2000 at which time she deposits another 20 (two weekly payments of 10) – she took a howlat (see below) to get that money. 20 early Jun (from H’s income); 20 late Jun (from vegetable sales); 20 early Jul from selling pumpkins from her yard; 20 late Jul from husband’s income (and takes a loan – see below); 10 only (now that she has a loan) in early Aug; 10 late Aug; 10 early Sep; 10 late Sep. MFI loans: A: Mauchas. R at first says ‘how can we join an NGO: my husband goes out of employment, so then how would we repay weekly?’ But after joining Mauchas and saving there she ‘follows what the other women did’ (says H) and took a loan of 2,000 taka in late July. She stores the money at home in hopes of buying tin for the roof. But finally they decide to on-lend to her parents and her sister (see below). She starts repaying early Aug, paying two instalments of 50 each; but by late Aug she is already having trouble repaying and has to work hard to get a howlat (see below) to make her 100 taka instalment for the two weeks; for early Sep she has to get a gift of 200 taka from her father in order to pay Mauchas the 100 taka due (H is ill at this time and not working much); 100 late Sep, this time from H’s income. Private savings: Saving at home: A: They have R’s 2,000 taka MFI loan at home for a while in July . Saving on the person: A: H keeps his cash on him. ‘Since I earn it by the sweat of my brow, it’s better to keep it close’. Mud-bank: A: R bought a mud bank in late Oct (we can’t absolutely rule out our influence simply by asking questions about mud banks) and dropped 4 taka into it: then she put in another 50 taka earned from making and selling bamboo sieves. Another 3 taka in early Nov, coins ‘taken from my husband’s pocket’. 3 more similar in late Nov, 3 in early Dec; 8 or so late Dec; 2 or 3 early Jan; zero in late Jan when H is ill; 4 in early Feb. In late Feb the son breaks the bank and they find 30 taka which she spends on daily needs (not including a new mud bank). Savings clubs: ASCA savings: A: H had been in a local Samity from 1997 to 1998, but he couldn’t deposit regularly so he was obliged to leave, taking his savings of 130 taka and spending them on basic needs. Reciprocal transactions: Interest-free loans (howlats) taken: A: In late Nov H borrows 100 taka from a neighbour who is in his labour group. He promises to repay when they get paid. The money is for basic needs. B: In late Dec he takes a howlat of 300 taka from a neighbour, after two or three days of repeatedly trying to get a howlat – everyone said they had nothing to lend. In early Jan the lender starts reminding him daily. He repays in late Jan. C: In late Jan he is ill and has to borrow 50 taka for medicine – this was easier to get. He repays in early Feb. D: In late Feb she borrows 5 taka, to buy betel nut, and repays it quickly. E: At the same time he borrows 30 to buy essentials and returns it in the same period. F: In early Mar H needs a new shirt for Eid so he borrows 200 from a friend and has one made. He repays 100 in late Mar, the other 100 early May. G: In late Mar he needs 30 taka for medicine for his son, so he borrows 30 taka from another neighbour, fairly easily. Repaid early Apr. H: He takes 15 from another neighbour in early Apr and agrees to repay quickly but fails to. I: In late Apr he borrows 50 taka from his cousin for daily needs: he had to visit his cousin twice to get it. Repaid late May from wage labour. J: H takes 150 taka from his step mother in late May, used to buy food. Repaid late Jun. K: R borrows 20 taka from a neighbour in order to make NGO savings. Repaid early Jun. L: In early Jul H is ill and has to borrow 100 taka from a co-worker to buy daily needs. M: In late Aug R tries two or three people to get cash to pay MFI dues; finally the son of Dr Aziz (the clever neighbour who seized their land) provides her with a 100 taka howlat – after she approached him three times. Repaid early Sep. Interest-free loans (howlats) given: A: In early Mar 2000 H gave a 15 taka howlat to a neighbour which he gets back in early May; Private savings and loan services: Saving with a money guard: A: H has (date not clear) saved 100 taka with the man next door, for safe keeping (to protect it from trivial spending) Accepting savings as a money guard: A: H has taken small sums from close friends (maybe not in the research year) to help them protect their cash Private loans taken on interest: A: In Aug 1999 H took a 200 taka loan on which he is supposed to pay 15% a month. He repaid about two month later, giving 60 taka interest. B: In early Sep 2000 he has to borrow 500 taka at 15% a month from a neighbour in order to pay for medicine for himself and MFI dues Private loans given on interest: A: Finally in August they decide to on-lend their MFI loan of 2,000 taka. They give 1,000 taka to R’s parents at 10% a month: H considers this very safe. Repaid within the research year, but no interest paid (but the in-law tells us ‘we’ll give a little’). When they got the 1,000 taka back H used it for medical treatment for himself and his son. B: Also in August they lend the other 1,000 taka of their MFI loan to H’s daughter-in-law also at 10% a month. She’s supposed to pay back by the month after the research year ended: no repayment made before that. Goods and services on credit: Goods bought on credit: A: H ‘sometimes’ takes goods on credit from shops. Two or three reports of this, amount unspecified. E.g. late Aug. Employer-related: Selling labour in advance: A: In late Oct H borrowed 200 taka, easily, from his cousin in a neighbouring para and will repay by labour at harvest time. He does repay thus. In-kind transactions: In-kind loans taken interest free A: At the same time (late Nov) R borrows 2.5 kg of rice from her immediate neighbour who is also sister son in law, repaid early next month. B: At the same time R takes 2.5 kg of rice from her older brother’s wife, to get by. Repaid date unspecified. C: Early next month, Feb, she takes another 2.5 kg from another source. Repaid late Feb. D: R borrows again 1.5 kg of rice in early Mar and refunds it immediately. E: R also in late Apr borrows 1.5 kg rice from a neighbour, repays early next month. F: R takes another 1.5 kg of rice from a neighbour in early May. Repaid later in the month. G: And another 2.5 kg in early Aug from a neighbour. Repaid late Aug.