Pakistan: A family of 9, living on $1.20 a day



lyas Masih with one of his seven daughters. Feeding so many is not easy. “I struggle even to buy a single kilo of `atta’ [wheat flour], which costs Rs 30 [36 US cents], and even that produces just about half a `roti’ [flat bread] for each of us,” he said. For Ilyas’s family, securing each meal – eaten on the floor around a kerosene oil stove on which his wife, Nasim, cooks – is an ordeal. “Especially at night, it is painful to hear the children beg for more food. Sometimes they snatch food from each other,” Ilyas said. Photo: Kamila Hyat/IRIN

In their two-room tin-roof house in one of the many shanty towns that dot Lahore, in eastern Pakistan, Ilyas and Nasim Masih and their seven daughters, aged three to 15, eke out an existence dependent on Ilyas’s meagre income as a day labourer.