These accounts reveal that even securing a home can be a constant battle, draining people of energy and resources. Continual insecurity leads the poor to”spend their lives in fear and tension”, says Salma, especially women.
Several narrators, including Fatima, reveal how hard it is for the very poor to take any risks, such as change occupation, migrate elsewhere or take out a loan.
Nazeer talks about the power dynamics between the poor and those in positions of authority or influence.
Fatima explains that women are reluctant to join their men when they migrate away temporarily for work, for fear that even their simple homes will be ransacked in their absence.
Hodat’s husband is fearful of giving up his traditional occupation and learning how to farm.