Rent-a-donkey: Gujranwala kiln worker’s family takes first ever vacation

Kiln manager says he does not expect the family to break free of debt cycle.


Shahid Shabir July 17, 2012

GUJRANWALA:


Liaqat Ali, his wife and parents will on Saturday return from a week-long vacation to Murree financed by savings from their rent-a-donkey business.


Ali’s mother Rabia Bibi told The Express Tribune that this was the first week in her adult life she was spending away from work. She said they had bought new clothes for the trip.

Rabia Bibi said her family saw a surge in their income two years ago when Ali started renting out donkeys for transportation of bricks to construction sites.

The family started with some 25 donkeys. They now own 80 donkeys, and have obtained another 20 on commission basis from other families employed at kilns in Jandiala Baghwala area.

Dilbar Khan, who has provided six donkeys to Ali, said the animals had been useless during the time he and his family were making bricks at the kilns but he still had to feed them. Now, he said, it was Ali’s headache to meet the expenses. He said his income from the new arrangement was around Rs3,000 to Rs4,000 a month.

Kiln manager Muhammad Hussain said Ali’s business had also helped boost the sale of bricks. He said because people find a donkey to move their bricks on the spot, they prefer the kiln over others operating in the area.

The donkeys are rented out at Rs10 an hour rate mostly to transport construction material from kilns in the area.

Ali estimated his monthly profit at between Rs50,000 and Rs65,000. He said his daily income was around Rs4,000 to Rs4,200 and expenses around Rs2,000 to Rs2,200.

Ali said almost half of the profit was paid to the kiln owner to repay a Rs200,000 loan he had accumulated overtime. “Some of the loan was used to buy donkeys,” he said, “I now plan to continue the business with the donkeys that I have.”

Ali said he had repaid about Rs50,000. But, he added, his mother, father and a brother each still owed Rs200,000 to the kiln owner.

Manager Hussain, however, said there was little chance that the family would ever repay the entire loan amount. “They keep taking loans every now and then. I don’t expect them to clear all loans despite the business continuing,” he said.

Hussain denied Ali’s claim about repayment of the loan using business profits.

He said half of the Rs400 per day wage was deducted and the other half paid to workers who were indebted to the owners, including Ali and his family.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 18th, 2012. 

COMMENTS (6)

PakJam | 9 years ago | Reply

@Asad: Epic reply... I laughed for the whole day....

ahmed | 9 years ago | Reply

@Asad: EXCELLENT How can we bring them to work for nation, for the moment they are working to make money by all means.

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