A single parent and her four children in Delhi’s Bawana village are living on just Rs 1.200 per day to meet their basic needs.
The family has three sons, three daughters and three grandchildren.
They are not just relying on the government, they are relying on themselves, said Anuj, the eldest son.
Anuj said, “I work as a cashier, and even as a part-time teacher, I’m barely making it.
I can’t even get a loan.”
He said, he and his family are not making much money, even though they have been living in the village for the past seven years.
“We are the poorest of the poor,” said Anupam.
“The electricity bill is so high that we cannot afford to buy food and we are having trouble paying the rent.”
He added, “We can’t go to the market or shop for food because the price of gas is too high.
We have to keep our electricity bills down to keep us alive.”
“In our village, there are many poor people who live on only Rs 20-25 a day.
But we are not poor,” he added.
“When the power supply was cut, we had to give up the entire family.”
They have been working in the household since their parents retired in 2008.
A recent study in the Indian Journal of Economics found that the average monthly household income in India was Rs 10,000 in 2016.
It found that only one in four households have access to electricity.
Anupamar said, there is a lack of understanding of how the power sector works.
“It’s important to have a proper understanding about the issue,” he said.
“Why does the power company come and take us out and send us to work, if the electricity is running all the time?
How does it work?
We are not getting answers to these questions.”
“This is our village and we have been here for seven years, why are we not getting any answers?” said Anuradha.
Anuram said, their family is on a monthly power bill of Rs 1 lakh, which means they need to pay up to Rs 6,000 every month.
“There is no electricity to wash, heat, cook, etc. They need to keep on working,” she added.
Rajeev was the only son in the family.
He said that he and wife Sangeeta had been working as a plumber for seven-eight years.
Rajeev, a 20-year-old graduate from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, said, We have been paying the electricity bill for seven months.
“We are getting very sick.
We are suffering from heart problems,” he told the Times of Indian.
“Even the doctors tell us to keep working, but they don’t give us any relief.
We need help,” he asked.
“I feel sorry that I have to ask for help, but we don’t have any other option.”
The electricity cut has affected their lives, Rajeevi said.
He added that they do not have any power to cook or heat their home, but to wash dishes.
“After the cut in power, we are forced to sleep in our homes,” he explained.
“This makes us feel worse,” he lamented.