back-to-square-one: Back to Square One
by Robert Knoth
Gholam with baby Chira in 2001. Gholam had stopped eating, so that he could save food for the children. “For twelve days he has been hunger sick”, his wife Kalam Niso said inside her darkened room. Gholam was outside under a blanket all day long. In a makeshift cradle was the youngest girl Chira. She was covered with rags against the sunlight and the many flies. The other children of the family had gone to the mountains. Every morning at sunrise they went to look for edible plants and firewood. “Sometimes, when they go very far, they stay away at night and sleep out in the open. Before, we used to have lands, but we had to sell everything we owned”.