3 stories that might change your perception about your own financial situation

POSTED BY manish ON October 13, 2009 COMMENTS (30)

Today I am telling you 3 short real-life stories. This is a random post, which I thought would be a good read for all the readers not because it gives you some knowledge or it teaches you some financial stuff.

But It might change your perception of your own situation and how lucky you are to have what you have.

change perception about financial situation

#Story 1 The Broken Person

A poor man from “Belha” village (District Sonebhadra, Uttar Pradesh) has 5 children. Some years back he had to sell his cattle and some household things to pay for hospital expenses for an accident. The Expenses were just Rs.3,000 After that incident their life got miserable day after day.

For years they are living a life which is unimaginable … They work in other fields and as a labourer’s whenever they get some work. They don’t get work for more than 50 days in a year. They have to travel to nearby “towns” which by my standard itself are poor villages.

They earn close to Rs.10-15 by working in Fields and around Rs.30 as labourers. But most of the time they get work in fields only. One of their children died last year because of malnutrition and all of them had nothing to eat for close to 4 days, not even a single meal.

Other children survived somehow. On an average this family eats once a day, sometimes full stomach if they are lucky. From last many years the only sweet thing they have eaten is some “sugar”.

Because of bad monsoon this year there was no work in fields, Last Month this person comes to my hometown to earn some money by pulling Rickshaw.

There are already hundreds of people like him in my hometown doing that work and one more person in that list will not worsen the situation of unemployment, So its fine I guess. He thought that he would be able to do the work because his legs are “strong” he thinks.

After working for 3-4 days and earning money which he thinks is excellent (Rs 100 in 3-4 days), Next day he fractured his legs because of a severe accident with a Car in the town. With no money with him, he can.t do any thing but to live with the situation. With his broken legs he was doing some “Wall painting work”.

His family is some how managing to survive in village and waiting for him to come and feed them for several days without any break .

This person is too weak to work now and accidentally fell on ground because of imbalance and broke his one hand too . Frustrated , Now this person cries for hours and finally decides that god has tested his patience for surviving his life and now he cant take it anymore . After that day this person is missing and there is no trace of him .

This is real life story of not just one person but most of the people in poor villages of this country . I had met this person long back some 4-5 yrs ago when he came to my home , He is close relative of a person i know personally .

#Story 2 The Old Lady

“Jeera” .. This may be a kitchen ingredient name for you , but this was a common name for females in poor villages . (Many people are named on vegetables, masalas and fruits in villages). This is a women who is in her 60’s, elder than my Father. She does not know where are her children from last many decades. They ran off from village with the bad companies they had.

She comes from her village 6-7 kms from my home town and washes utensils, cleans rice and wheat etc. or Washes clothes some times .. Any petty work at home “on demand”. She gets Rs.5 per day from each Family. Btw, she works for just 2-3 families anyways.

So on an average she earns Rs.10 per day , some times Rs.15 . Rs.10 is actually good enough to feed her two times, because she has no other expenses other than Food. Transportation is free (She walks up and down daily) and hopefully gets a Saree once in 3-4 years from some family on Diwali or Holi may be).

Her biggest Wish in life is to own a Mobile phone someday , but deep down she knows very well that its not possible in this life. I see her always cheerful and smiling, and some times her level of satisfaction and happiness in life seems to be much more than any average person in this country.

Story 3 #The Rickshaw Wala

When I was in School , I used to go by Rickshaw to school , and my rickshawala was a dark-long beard muslim person (don’t remember his name) who used to yell and shout on every boy and girl every day for whatever we did, even if were 1 min early , he yelled 🙂 .. if we were late by 2 min, he yelled.

I was really scared by this person all my life (my school life) and after I left my home 12 yrs back for further studies, Whenever I go home, I see him pulling rickshaw to same school, same rickshaw (in bad condition), No changes at all … Either he sees me accidentally or I see him accidentally and then This person comes to meet me at home, Our talk generally ends in 3-4 minutes with just a general “Haal-Chal” talk.

Every year he looks 2 yrs older than last year and more weak than earlier. One common sentence every year I hear is that “He is trying to make both ends meet somehow” and “he is not able to pull his Rishshaw these days , But some thing needs to be done to support his Family of 8” .

I was surprised to hear that he had 8 people in family and even more surprised when he told me that this is after his 4-5 sons ran away from Family because of being involved in “Gaanja-Sharaab” (opium-alcohol) activities.

This time, He came to meet me again, His pauses longer this time between the conversation. I realized that he expected some monitory help from me (He expected it every year, but I never understood, I thought he just came for “Haal-chal” talk).

I gave him Rs 100, and I could see tears in his eyes, because it was too much and beyond his expectations. I think he expected not more than Rs 10-20).

I think he will take a small vacation now (for 3-4 days) and rest at home, anyways no work because of Diwali.

———

Conclusion

Most of us earn per day more money than what these people make in a month . Early Investing is key to financial freedom , “Satisfaction and Being Content” is the real key 🙂 . See what you have rather than what is missing and you will be much more happier than ever.

I am telling you these stories so that we understand how good our situation is and we worst situation is literally 100 times much better than the best life these people can ever think of. I hope it hurts less next time your Mutual funds drop by 10%, or your Home Buying is delayed by 1 more year, or you are not able to go for vacations for a year or your “life is miserable”.

Donations

Incase you are too touched by these stories , I would be happy to accept donations and give to these people [mail to manish.pucsd@gmail.com], You can give donations of as minimum as Rs 50 or Rs 100 .. Even if you are ready to skip a movie or Dinner outing with Family, That much money can provide a months worth of food or some happiness to these families.

Time to do something really nice this Diwali 🙂 .

I am not sure If the first person will be available or not [Family is available], but other two will hopefully be there …

I know all these people personally and most of us living and working in big cities might just hear these kind of stories in news or in newspapers but its very common in small poor villages .

Comments are Welcome, Please share your views on these Real life stories and Let others know What are your ideas on making the situation better.

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30 replies on this article “3 stories that might change your perception about your own financial situation”

  1. SANJAY LAHA says:

    Thanks to God that I have been able to controll my temptations of possessing precious articles that are not so needed well before reading this article. I earnesty support your view and thanks a lot for writing this eye openning article. I shall share this in social media as far as possible.

    1. Glad to know that SANJAY LAHA ..

    2. Thanks for sharing that SANJAY LAHA

  2. Durga says:

    Heart touching stories sirji 🙁
    It would have been better I read this article when you have published so that I could be part of donations. Let me know if you still collect donations for these people.

    1. We are not collecting the donations right now ,. but we will collect it for some other cause soon ! .. you can contribute that time

  3. Siva says:

    Hi Manish,
    I understood the basic intention of this post.

    But I’m shocked to see the per day earnings in fields / house holds. I’m from a village in Tamilnadu, and the daily earnings in a field has crossed Rs100 in 2008 itself. I would like to know about the place which pays Rs10-15 per day. I remember it used to be in single digit (Rs5-6) some 20years ago in my village. The central government’s minimum employment scheme, pays Rs150 per person for 4-5 hours of work ( i think it covers 100 days in a year). Does this scheme exist in the village you mention?

    Thanks,
    Siva

    1. Siva

      I am talking about villages in UP .. and I am talking about those field where the owner knows that these people do not have any other work so they can exploit them to great extent ..

      Manish

  4. Alok says:

    See I am not against helping the needy one, but actual problem will still there, poor man doesn’t know how to control, labourer in first story has 5 children and rickshaw puller has 13 ( i assuming 8 current and 5 runaways ), i have sympathy with there situtation but someway they are actual creator for them. see it very difficult for them to feed one child properly they are actually producing 5, here lies the problem… they need education rather with monetary help offcourse to overcome current situation.

    1. Alok

      I agree with you . Incase we can educate them, it would be the best help

      Manish

  5. dc agrawal says:

    Dear Mr.Manish,
    I have read article “3 stories that might change your perception about your own financial situation”

    Its a lesson for those person,who have every thing in his/her life,like good job/business/family……long list
    but still worried——-
    but
    you may be right and stories are 110% correct,but my opininon are different.
    1) employer need good employee,but he/she never can do.employee can’t get good employer and viceversa.
    I personally know so many person,those can’t get good labours for their fields after 100/-per day given.
    2) so many person need for person who working for them,but they are not able to search them,so many person are not ready to work,once I ask to some of begger,they are begging on road char rasta,they are healthy ,I ask them why u are begging,if u are ready to work sinceraly ,I tries for u to work & u got some money that is enough for your daily needs.but they are not ready to listen ……..
    3) so many person those like your stories,they are not ready to work sincerealy,they have big families 4-5 or more children,why they go for more children ,if they are not able to survived them,I personaly talk so many labours,single child is enough for u ,go for vesktomy,tubektomy,but they are not do,they then ………
    other thing they are engage all thing,which is prohibited,they are expese so many rupees on gutha,daru……..list are long.

    at last I want to say……..
    In india if any person willing to ready 10-12 hrs hard work ,he/she never be hungry—-
    he/she need to cut his/her all expense,which is not necessory.
    go for small family or no child till they know,we are able to survive or not.

    1. dc Agarwal

      Yes , I agree with all your points, there are , lot of people who can work and make money they need for survival but they dont and it included beggers also , I think they dont work is because begging makes them more than what they can make working 🙂 . While your points are correct , the intention of the article is to communicate that we should look for of satisfaction from our financial life, as we are lucky to have what we have , there are enough people who are mis fortunate than us .

      Manish

  6. Sarang says:

    I would recommend book called “Banker to the Poor”, biography of Dr. Mohammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. It has changed my view about poor people. Donating money may not help poor people. They need to be helped so that they can ‘Invest’ their efforts rather than spending.

    1. Sarang

      I think I get your point , If we donate money , they will spend it , however if we lend them , they will make a better use of it 🙂

      Manish

  7. JP says:

    Inspiring real life stories…
    Manish said it rightly that there is no reason for us to complain if we look at people like this.
    @Manish – I will write to you seperately and i am willing to contribute.
    I contribute to orphanages every year on birthdays in my family (wife & 2 sons) and on my wedding day.

    We are all educated and fortunate to have good earning and talk about investing to save for future…
    We all should improve on “Giving” aspect and after all real satisfaction is there.
    Happy “Giving”

    JP

    1. manish says:

      Thanks Jayaprakash

      It would be great to have some contributions 🙂 . I have already collected 4000+ . You contribution will be much appreciated 🙂

      Manish

  8. Manish Chauhan says:

    @Anonymous

    So now it changes 🙂 , correct 🙂

  9. Anonymous says:

    How easy to forget how fortunate we are.

    I feel so ashamed that at times I have complained about some petty situation or the other.

    I need to keep these stories (and a million others like these all over India) every morning when I wake up.

  10. Manish Chauhan says:

    @sanp dude

    I agree that the main issue is Education , but you know that everything is interrelated . The first thingis to feed themselves . some of them are seriously busy all life fighting with life that they cant do other things , At some point they need some external help like what we are trying to do , may be thats a point from where it changes .

    Manish

  11. sanp dude says:

    Things to note here
    1) Everyone of them had > 5 children.
    2) None of them educated.

    Now I am not against monetary help , but aren't humans supposed to be smart people and learn from others mistake. I bet everyone in their village will have that many children and none of them educated.

    If you want to help provide education and sense so that the same story does not repeat in next generation.

  12. Manish Chauhan says:

    @Khalid

    Happy Diwali to you too 🙂

    Manish

  13. Khalid says:

    Hi dude
    HAPPY DIWALI to you

  14. Manish Chauhan says:

    @Sachin8778

    Thanks for contribution , Mail me the details

    You have raised a very good point . One should always try to balance his Pre-retirment and Post-retirement lifestyle , no one should be compromised for the other one . Thats the key funda and very logical 🙂

    @NKanani

    Great !! … 🙂

    Manish

  15. NKanani says:

    Yes Manish, i missed that out. you are correct on both accounts – they wont be paid fair price and secondly, they cannot travel so long and manage accommodation.

  16. Sachin8778 says:

    Hi Manish,

    Really touching stories, brings you directly to the ground and all of a sudden your perspective towards your own life's 'dikkat' changes.

    I am happy to contribute, I will write you in email for details.

    I would like to share some parallel personal eye opener with regards to personal finance/retirement saving (appologies in advance for a lengthy comment).

    I recently came across a book on retirement planning and found an interesting aspect. Unlike other things I read about retirement planning, this warns you about saving more at the cost of your present lifestyle. It says identify your needs correctly and avoid saving more than you really will need post-retirement, an interesting thought indeed, especially if it is to do with some compromises today. It has certainly brought in some change in me, of course it is subjective and much to do with where one stood before. Well as a take-away, I have started spending more, obiviously not on extravagent lifestyle (thanks to my nature), but on some other things that I always wanted to do and brings satisfaction to me. My wife has definitely noticed the difference. I have decided to takeup medical insurance cost of couple of my close relatives thinking if I save few thousands less a year is not going to cause me huge troubles, provided I countinue the earning at current levels. Similarly being a bit generous in Diwali gifts, something uncommon of me 🙂 Afterall you don't want to end up saving extra for old age at the cost of things that can bring smiles your deer ones, obiviously the key is to reasonably guess how much you will need post-retirement and whether your plans on track.

    Thought of sharing this since it is somewhat related to the subject/theme of your post–perception of your financial position.

    Comments welcome!

    ~Sachin

  17. Manish Chauhan says:

    @Vikram K , Anonymous

    🙂 .. yeah . Its important to realise this .

    @NKanani

    I would agree for a part that these people can do the household work, But they dont get real value of the work they do in these small places .

    These people dont even have money to travel to some big city or resources to manage accomodation .

    What are your views about that ?

    @Yogi

    Very true that its too tough to retail the profits .. Most of the retail investors earn profits and then loose it too .

    Manish

  18. Yogi says:

    Ground realities, they are…!

    Now, when it comes to managing your finances. As they say greediness is a very fine silverline..you cross it and you are bound to lose.

    At the same, there is a very thin line in being patient and being ignorant to losses.

    I m not against these real life examples. However, I want to pointout that when we are running in loss, we should not think we are very lucky that we have incurred less loss compared to others.
    Point is we have got loss.

    Earning profit is not difficult in market, keeping it is. (copied from somewhere, but yes it is true)

    Regards
    Yogesh Tiwari

  19. NKanani says:

    I think, individuals like us who can do something for such people should find ways to help them – personally or financially. I dont think I have met any such person till date [the only ones I meet were beggars – who i think do not want to work even if they can]… One way I can think of work for such people is doing household work – as in metro cities there is always shortage of maids.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Very sad and heart breaking stories. All of us that are able to read this blog should always remember how fortunate we are.

  21. Vikram K says:

    well and now i was feeling bad that i will probably have to work a couple of days during diwali from my cushy air conditioned office .. was also feeling grumpy that the diwali payout was 'not enough' brought me right back to ground. thanks for the wakeup call. God has been really really kind to me and all my 'troubles' are very very minor compared to this

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