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Political representation

Most narrators express strong disillusionment with politicians and other representatives. They have little hope of justice from the police or the judiciary, or from those in power.

In Sanghar, Chhutta gives examples of corruption and harassment and Nazeer has experience of how the police favour the powerful in any dispute, and of rigged voting.

In Manchar too, all speak strongly about government indifference and political corruption. Karim Bux and Hodat say no one listens to them or “does anything practical – it’s all words”.

Basran says the police are intimidated by a local powerful group who cause major problems, and Fatima sees nothing but broken promises from those in power.

Nazeer and Chhutta say that the local press in Sanghar is subject to pressure from those in power, and often fails to cover the stories or perspectives of the poor.

Nevertheless, Mircho has succeeded in getting the local council to act by threatening to withhold votes. And Chhutta tells of having had some success in using the law to fight attempts to displace them.


Political representation is a key theme of the Living with poverty: Pakistan oral testimony project.


Allah Bux: older generation

Basran: desperate times

Chhutta: migrant’s tale

Fatima: vulnerable lives

Hodat: diversifying business

Karim Bux: lacking support

Khamiso: looking back

Kishore: living prudently

Mircho: losing dignity

Nasreen: just surviving

Nazeer: high standards

Salma: independent spirit

Key themes

Introduction to the project

Loans and debt

Survival strategies

The cost of poverty

Environmental decline


Political representation


Insecurity and conflict


Food security and health