Muhammad is a day labourer in the remote village of Palan Gakhran in Pakistan. He lives with his wife, and 8 children. Providing for his large family is a struggle for Muhammad, who also has a disability.
Competition for labour-intensive work can be fierce rural areas where there is less development, and negotiating wages can also be a challenge for Muhammad as he communicates through sign language. His family is raising chickens and growing vegetables at home to earn more money, but it is often not enough to meet their basic needs.
“We try our best to earn enough to run the house, but there is no work, and we rely on Allah,” Muhammad says.
“Sometimes myself, my wife and older children have to sacrifice basic things so that the younger children don’t go without – and this is when there is no major health issue in the family. If, God forbid, a health issue arises, it takes weeks and months for us to get back to normal.”
“Ramadan is a month of blessings, but for our family things are a bit different because it also causes an increase in expenses. When it comes to expenses related to Eid, it is very painful sometimes. It’s the only time we get to buy new clothes. Elders in the family can manage without, but not the children.”
Muhammad and his family received food parcels from Islamic Relief during the month of Ramadan, as well as food vouchers and cash to help them meet their basic needs.
“I have a big family so the food [Islamic Relief provides] is consumed quickly, but it is enough support to relieve much of our burden and stress. The cost of the items provided is equal to 7 days’ wages for me so you can get an idea of how much of a help this is to me and my family.
“The amount which we would have spent on these items can be spent on my children’s school needs like books and uniforms… Only Allah knows how much it means to me and others like me in the village.
“Our area is very far from main cities and so no helping hands come this far. I hope [Islamic Relief] keeps working in far off areas like our village. God bless all you people and the donors who reached us.”
This Ramadan you can help us reach even more vulnerable people. Please don’t wait, people need your help more than ever. Donate generously in the blessed month of Ramadan.