Name: Wliar Rahman
Location: Paikpara area in the capital Dhaka
Does your spouse/partner live with you? Yes.
What is your primary job? Primary school teacher.
What is your monthly salary? Around $60 per month.
What is your household’s total income - including your partner’s salary, and any additional same sources? $75
How many people are living in your household - what is their relationship to you? Four - my wife, a son, and a daughter.
How many are dependent on you/your partner's income - what is their relationship to you? Four - all family members.
How much do you spend each month on food? $65 from $50
What is your main staple - how much does it cost each month? Rice. $20 from $15
How much do you spend on rent? I used to pay $25 in rent each month. But recently the school provided me with a two-room home on the school premises.
How much on transport? About $15 per month. from $10
How much do you spend on educating your children each month? Around $25. from $20
After you have paid all your bills each month, how much is left? Nothing. I need to borrow from family and friends to manage the family expenses.
Have you or any member of the household been forced to skip meals or reduce portion sizes in the last three months? Not yet. However, we have reduced portion sizes.
Have you been forced to borrow money (or food) in the last three months to cover basic household needs? Yes.
“The political situation remains volatile, and this has resulted in recurrent shutdowns called for by opposition parties. As a result, the price of basic food necessities have increased,” he said.
“After four days of non-stop strikes in the last week, I found the price of necessities have at times doubled. Just a few days ago, I bought a fish for US$5 that I used to buy for $3.
“Not only have food prices increased. So has everything else. My son’s tuition fees have increased by 20 percent this academic year. There has also been a 25 percent increase in transport costs due to a jump in fuel prices,” he said.
Today, Rahman is unable repay the money he borrowed from family and friends earlier, and recently had no choice but to borrow $500 from a friend.
“Each month, my salary only lasts 15 days. That's it. I manage the family expenses by borrowing money from friends,” he said.
Rahman said that with the price hike of food items, almost all his household’s monthly income - $75 - is spent on food. He manages his children’s education and other expenses by borrowing money.
Although he is looking to supplement his income with another job, he has not yet found anything.
“If I don’t manage to find something soon, I won’t be able to manage three meals for my family,” he said.