ByÂ Hisham Barbhuiya:
From past few years the greatest form of living beings on the face of earth, the ‘humans’, have been suffering from a very dreadful disease called ‘inflation’. Normally almost all types of diseases can be cured by medicines, but this disease seems to have no cure at all. Once a person comes under its attack, he/she can hardly be saved from its adverse effects.
Though the disease (inflation) can be caught by any individual, but the most affected one is the common man, a category which on one hand includes people below the poverty line and on the other the middle-class society.
In this case, the people below poverty line have to struggle very hard to attain their daily bread and feed the family. Some even go without food for days together. This leads to a situation where the children of such families suffer from various ailments, and gradually they come under the category of the ‘malnourished’. Most of the times the children, who are old enough, are sent to work and earn a living for their family’s survival. Such kids are often seen working in hazardous factories, small restaurants, dhabas, automobile garages etc. They lose their childhood in doing odd jobs instead of going to schools and gaining knowledge.
Whereas, people belonging to the middle-class families affected start planning as to how they can cope up with their monthly expenditures, with limited wages and soaring prices of goods, especially the FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) products like milk, pulses, vegetables etc. which are their daily requirements. Thus, in the end they have to compromise with their tastes and go for less costly products and even cheap alternatives for certain products.
The rising prices of petroleum products like petrol, diesel and LPG have put up all the more pressure on people, as now they have to think several times before taking their vehicles out of the garage even for a very important work. Talking about my personal experience, I have myself witnessed people on roadside tea stalls exchanging their thoughts about the rising prices of the products and the difficulties faced by them.
I have seen my father calculating the monthly expenses and keeping some amount of money for each purpose, such as electricity bill, house rent, money to be spent on household items and goods etc. He does this every month to analyze if even a single penny has been spent on unnecessary things by any member of the house. In this way the budget of the family is kept intact. Not only him but almost every person who has the responsibility of heading and maintaining a family follows the same process. But it is not as easy as it sounds; one has to look into every aspect of his family ‘needs’ and at the same time distinguish it from the family ‘wants’, and then act accordingly.
This planning doesn’t have an end, and the poor people on the other hand cannot even think of inculcating the word ‘planning’ in their lives as they have nothing for which they can plan for. The plight of common people will not come to an end and this disease called inflation, symptoms of which are poverty, suffering and death, will keep on plaguing them. Unless and until strong measures are taken by the Government to curb ‘inflation’.
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