Part 1: How do we define poverty?

I never really considered myself poor. How do we measure poverty? Do we count the money one have in the wallet or the land they own? Do we count the richness of a person’s life in joyful moments?

I personally do not know how to define such thing. I am not starving but on the other hand, I also do not have any land. I do not have money and if I ever became ill, I would not be able to pay the treatment myself. I never had to define myself before until today. I have to admit that is was a big challenge. The other group members defined me as ‘very poor’ based on what I told them but defining myself as poor made me very shy.

My name is Chija Pariyar. Today I have become a part of the WAWCAS programme. I belong to the Handetar group. I have met my first challenge when we had to label ourselves according to our economic situation. This process encourages us to express ourselves and for me to share my personal views. It was not an easy challenge, but I overcame it. Along the process, my mouth felt like sand – every time I wanted to say something, it felt so dry! It made it very difficult to share my deepest thoughts. Luckily, Rajina and her friend supported me all the way.

When I told my group about my situation, they all defined me as ‘Ultra Poor’ but I would not let myself be in that category, so I posted myself on the ‘Poor’ list. We all had to go through this process today, and we all managed it our own ways. We finished the assignment with a meeting.

I went through the day with mixed feeling but I have to tell you, that the strongest feeling was happiness. I am eager for what will happen next. I cannot describe in words how excited I am to learn more from my group. I feel lucky because I have the opportunity to be a part of WAWCAS.