Name: Manbahadur Tamang
Location: Kolpata village, Sindupalchok District, Nepal
Does your spouse/partner live with you? Yes.
What is your primary job? Farmer and labourer. from just farmer
What is your monthly salary? I don’t receive a monthly salary. Every six months I earn US$600-800 from each harvest. Additionally, I make $100-200 working in construction as a labourer, but that’s not guaranteed work.from $600-800 from harvest
What is your household’s total income - including your partner’s salary, and any additional same sources? With my sons now working part time, jointly we earn between $200 to $300 per month.
from farming income only
How many people are living in your household - what is their relationship to you? Two teenage sons, two teenage daughters and a wife.
How many are dependent on you/your partner's income - what is their relationship to you? All five members of my family are dependent on me, even though my sons sometimes work as well. For the most part, I’m the sole bread earner.
How much do you spend each month on food? Well over $70. from $50
What is your main staple - how much does it cost each month? Rice, dal (pulses) and vegetables $70. from $50
How much do you spend on rent? I own my own home in the village.
How much on transport? Around $30 per month. from $20
How much do you spend on educating your children each month? $35.
After you have paid all your bills each month, how much is left? Occasionally, we save around $10. from nothing
Have you or any member of the household been forced to skip meals or reduce portion sizes in the last three months? Not yet. The situation is better as we have more income now.
Have you been forced to borrow money (or food) in the last three months to cover basic household needs? Not this time because of help from my sons.
In December 2012, his sons dropped out of school to help support the family, but Tamang has since made them to return to school, although he allows them to work part-time on weekends and holidays.
“My two sons are still trying to help me. In the old days, it would be normal for them to quit school to help support the family. However, times have changed because all children go to school, and I didn’t want them to miss this opportunity. They should study and do well so they can get a proper government job. This will allow them to better support the family in the future.
“We aren’t in as bad a condition as we were after losing last year’s maize harvest.
“At the same time, I’m glad I didn’t have to travel to Kathmandu to find work. That would have been expensive. I was really worried about this. However, things have improved as I was able to find some work on a local road construction site a few months back.
“Today, my main concern is that food prices will go up again. It’s such a headache because the price of the fuel is spiralling, which directly impacts the price of food, oil and transport.
“Moreover, the political situation in our country remains uncertain. We heard there were going to be elections soon, but can only hope that things get better.
“Now my main concern is my children. They are growing up so fast and each year the education costs get more expensive. They will need new clothes and new books and their diet will also increase.
“These past few months have been good. Our situation is a little better than when we last spoke.”