Interview with Sheikh Shah Vali
Duration: 00:29:26; Aspect Ratio: 1.778:1; Hue: 30.041; Saturation: 0.139; Lightness: 0.369; Volume: 0.252; Cuts per Minute: 0.102; Words per Minute: 92.780
The Identity project emerged as a result of our dissatisfaction at the nature of the debate that was emerging on the area of digital governance in India.
Over the past three years we have conducted numerous field visits in seven Indian states.These visits include numerous video-conversations, some short and others very long, with a diverse number of those who were involved with this entire process of participating in the emergence of a digital ecosystem of governance. These are interviews with people being enrolled into the Aadhaar programme, with district-level Panchayat and other officials, with numerous State government bureaucrats, with private enrollment representatives, representatives of various governmental services, with operators and other members of this digital workforce. Conversations are often long, spontaneous and deliberately unstructured: and the focus is mainly on a vérité style using amateur video.
Some key issues that we shortlisted for detailed inquiry were issues of migrants, both domestic and across international borders, homelessness in cities, and the financially excluded. Each of these areas was discussed in considerable detail at major public consultations held in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore, in partnership with the CSDS, the Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group, and the Urban Research and Policy Programme Initiative of the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. All videos of all presentations made at these events are also available here.
CSCS also has an extensive text archives of material on the field as a whole, available on http://eprints.cscsarchives.org
Interaction with a father and son duo in the village who run a small kiosk selling cigarettes. The family had accessed the State Government health insurance programme, Arogyasri, for a kidney operation. The family is reported to be highly indebted but they themselves claim that they are prudent. The interviews illustrate the dependences of the poor on various government transfers.
INTERVIEWER: What is your age?
Speaker: 26 years.
INTERVIEWER: Where are you from?
Speaker: I am from here, Gonegandla.
INTERVIEWER: Have you been here since you were born?
INTERVIEWER: Are you educated?
Speaker: No sir, I have no formal education.
INTERVIEWER: What work do you do?
INTERVIEWER: Do you own land?
INTERVIEWER: How much land do you own?
Speaker: We are 3 brothers and we own around 10 acres of land.
INTERVIEWER: Have you taken more land on lease?
Speaker: Yes we have taken some land on lease. But we farm on 10 acres of land which is our own.
INTERVIEWER: What do you cultivate?
Speaker: Millets and Onions.
INTERVIEWER: Is your land irrigated?
Speaker: Only 3 acres is irrigated.
INTERVIEWER: With regards to government schemes. What are the schemes that have benefitted you the most? Apart from Arogyasri.
Speaker: My brother got an education.
INTERVIEWER: What are the government schemes that have been in place since you were a child?
Speaker: There was NT Rama Rao and Chandrababu Naidu after that.
INTERVIEWER: I am asking about the government schemes during their reign.
Speaker: Rice at Rs.2 a kilo. That's all I can think of.
INTERVIEWER: What about Chandrababu Naidu.
Speaker: He made Rice Rs.3 kilo and later changed it to Rs.2 a kilo.
INTERVIEWER: Any other schemes that you benefitted from during his time?
Speaker: During Chandrababu's time we got no benefits. We only benefitted from the Arogyasri scheme since the time my mother was sick.
INTERVIEWER: How have you benefitted from Arogyasri?
Speaker: We told them that we don't have the money. We had spent some of our own money for my Kidney treatment.
INTERVIEWER: What have they done?
Speaker: They removed my kidney because it had become dysfunctional.
INTERVIEWER: Did they do a transplant?
Speaker: No they said it requires a lot of money.
INTERVIEWER: You did not have any personal money?
Speaker: No, all the expenditure at the RR Hospital was paid for by the Arogyasri scheme.
INTERVIEWER: Where is the RR Hospital?
Speaker: In Kurnool. They even provide free meals. They operated upon me and kept me in the hospital for a month and 20 days.
INTERVIEWER: You did not spend anything from your own pocket?
Speaker: No sir.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have the Arogyasri card?
INTERVIEWER: Do you know anyone in the government? Do you have political connections?
Speaker: No. I don't know anyone.
INTERVIEWER: So you just took you card and they operated you? Any political connections?
Speaker: I have no political connections. I am a farmer. We went and asked the hospital and they agreed to operate me. I took my Arogyasri card with me. They told me that I will have to be in the hospital for a month. It’s been 3 years since I have been operated upon. The first two years I did light work and opened a bunk (shop). I don't do too much farm work now.
INTERVIEWER: What is the daily wage for farm work in your village?
Speaker: They give us less now because there have been no rains. Normally it Rs.100, sometimes they give Rs.120.
INTERVIEWER: For women?
Speaker: Rs. 100.
INTERVIEWER: For men?
Speaker: It’s about Rs.120.
INTERVIEWER: What are the wages when the rains are good?
Speaker: It’s Rs.150. Depends on the work.
INTERVIEWER: You had such a big operation. Did it happen without anyone’s influence?
Speaker: I got tests done in Kurnool. They sent me to Hyderabad to get some tests done. Both the tests showed the same results.
INTERVIEWER: Which hospital in Hyderabad?
Speaker: I don't know the name. I knew a driver there.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have any relatives in Hyderabad?
Speaker: Yes, I have an uncle who is in the police department. The doctor here had written my report. So they did the tests based on that. I came back here to have the operation.
INTERVIEWER: Apart from you, has anyone in your family benefitted from Arogyasri?
Speaker: My mother had a heart attack. We had to take her to Kurnool. They took veins from her thighs to repair her heart valves. That was a year ago in Hyderabad. My father knows all this since he usually accompanies her.
INTERVIEWER: Did the operation happen here?
Speaker: No, it happened in Hyderabad.
INTERVIEWER: How much did you spend on this?
Speaker: Only my father knows.
INTERVIEWER: Even for this operation you father hasn't spent anything from his personal money?
Speaker: I know about my operation. My father knows about the other operation.
INTERVIEWER: Does your father have an Arogyasri card?
Speaker: My father, mother, wife and I have it.
INTERVIEWER: Do your brothers have it?
Speaker: They too have it.
INTERVIEWER: Do they take bribes when they give you the card?
Speaker: No, they did not. They distributed it for free.
INTERVIEWER: Who distributed it?
Speaker: That I don't know. The gram sevaks give it to us when cards with our names came.
INTERVIEWER: Did you make an application?
Speaker: Only my father knows. Because we are usually at work. All the three brothers have it.
INTERVIEWER: Politically, do you support Rajashekar Reddy?
Speaker: Nothing like that.
INTERVIEWER: Do you vote for him?
INTERVIEWER: Did your family vote for Congress?
Speaker: We started supporting them in between and we continued with them. We go with whoever everyone is voting for. Since he (YSR) had done some good deeds we will vote for him.
INTERVIEWER: Who is your local MLA?
Speaker: Chennakesava Reddy.
INTERVIEWER: Is he from the Congress?
INTERVIEWER: From the time you've been operated, has anything changed in Arogyasri?
Speaker: When I was ill, I was treated for about a month and given medicines and the doctors said that I should take care and that would be enough.
INTERVIEWER: Does Arogyasri work as well now? Is it still free?
Speaker: I don't know.
INTERVIEWER: Hasn't anyone tried to use it recently in your neighbourhood?
Speaker: There's only one hospital in Kurnool that has this facility that his father availed.
INTERVIEWER: Do you know which hospital?
Speaker: I don't know.
Speaker: I was at RR hospital.
INTERVIEWER: How many beneficiaries would be there in your village approximately?
Speaker: About a 100.
INTERVIEWER: What is the population here?
Speaker: 25,000 approximately. One of my sons has been a beneficiary too.
INTERVIEWER: Does he have any documentation to prove that he is in the BPL category?
INTERVIEWER: Is your ration card a white card?
INTERVIEWER: How much income did you mention in it?
Speaker: I'm not sure. I could show it to you.
Speaker 3: His father would know everything.
Speaker: Yes, he would know. I'm illiterate, wouldn't know anything.
INTERVIEWER: Is he around? Can you call him?
INTERVIEWER: Recently they said they would give another card, Adhaar card... Did they take photographs?
Speaker: No, they haven't given it yet. We applied but it hasn't come.
INTERVIEWER: Did they take your fingerprints and photographs?
Speaker: Yes they did by they haven't give us the card yet.
INTERVIEWER: What is a rachabanda card ( ration card) ?
Speaker: They said that they will give it for my family under that but they did not.
INTERVIEWER: Did you get a receipt?
Speaker: We gave photos, address...
INTERVIEWER: Did you fill a form...
Speaker: Yes, we bought form for Rs.2-3...
INTERVIEWER: Did you buy the form?
Speaker: Yes sir. My family, i.e my wife and children were made to take a photograph and give it to them.
INTERVIEWER: Who did you give this to?
Speaker: The people who made the list.
INTERVIEWER: Did they take the fingerprints of all your five fingers?
Speaker: They did not take fingerprints. They just took our photo and gave us a receipt with a seal on it.
INTERVIEWER: Did you have to take a photo of your entire family?
INTERVIEWER: How many cards do you have in total?
Speaker: We have 3 cards in all.
INTERVIEWER: How many cards do you have individually?
Speaker: Just one.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a voter card?
Speaker: Just my father, mother and brother have it. My wife and I don't have it.
INTERVIEWER: You have the Arogyashee card?
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a ration card?
Speaker: Yes, I have a ration card.
INTERVIEWER: Does it have a photo?
Speaker: It has my father, mother, wife, daughter and me.
INTERVIEWER: Five of you have one ration card.
Speaker: I get 20kgs of rice for that.
INTERVIEWER: You have the white card?
Speaker: Yes sir.
INTERVIEWER: Does your father have a pension card?
Speaker: My father has a voter ID card.
INTERVIEWER: Not voter ID card, a pension card?
Speaker: We had applied for it but never got it. Both my parents don't have it.
INTERVIEWER: You have no other cards?
INTERVIEWER: What is your income from farming?
Speaker: It depends on the rains.
Speaker: If you minus the costs of hiring farm hand etc. that’s what is left. This time it’s not much because the rains are bad.
INTERVIEWER: Don't you have well water.
Speaker: Yes, there is a well. But we get water from a canal mostly.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have electricity on your farm?
Speaker: We do.
INTERVIEWER: Is it free?
Speaker: No, we pay Rs.20 a month.
INTERVIEWER: How many hours of electricity do you have?
Speaker: About 4 hours. Nowadays its just 2-3 hours. It used to be better before. They give 3 hours of electricity at night.
INTERVIEWER: So you get about 7 hours of electricity in total?
Speaker: Yes. That was before. We just get about 4 hours in total.
INTERVIEWER: Has the government given you a house?
Speaker: Yes, it has. Because I don't have a voter ID card they haven't reimbursed my bill.
INTERVIEWER: Under the Indirammailliu Scheme?
Speaker: Yes, my brother has got a double house. I haven't got it.
INTERVIEWER: Have they given you a site?
INTERVIEWER: Have you built a house on it?
Speaker: I have.
INTERVIEWER: But they haven't given you the money for it? How much money is pending from them?
Speaker: They just gave me Rs.10, 000 and 10 bags of cement. They need to pay the balance.
INTERVIEWER: What is your total cost?
Speaker: My father has the bill. We just put the roof and stopped construction as we ran out of money.
INTERVIEWER: You don't live in it?
Speaker: No, it’s incomplete.
INTERVIEWER: How much were they offering you to build the house?
Speaker: About Rs.45, 000 and cement. They just gave me Rs.10, 000 and ten bags of cement.
INTERVIEWER: Do avail work under the 100 days work scheme?
Speaker: Yes we go at times.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have the card?
Speaker: No we don't.
INTERVIEWER: Why don't you have the card?
Speaker: We went but they did not give it.
INTERVIEWER: Why didn't they?
Speaker: When it is time to get it we would have gone to our farms. Lots of people have it.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a bank account?
Speaker: We have opened it but do not operate it.
INTERVIEWER: What bank?
Speaker: Andhra Bank.
INTERVIEWER: Have you taken a loan from any cooperative society?
Speaker: I have taken a bank loan.
INTERVIEWER: What's the purpose?
Speaker: For the farm.
INTERVIEWER: How much did you take?
Speaker: My father knows that.
INTERVIEWER: For your farm or your fathers.
Speaker: All the farmland is in my father’s name.
INTERVIEWER: We have come from Hyderabad and Bangalore and are here in Kurnool to research government schemes like the Arogyasri programmes. We are not connected to the government.
Speaker: The government is doing a good job these days. Even when I went to the hospital we were treated well.
INTERVIEWER: Can you please tell me your name?
Speaker: K.Mapsaab. This is my son. He had a kidney ailment so it had to be taken out. They said that they can put another kidney but warned us that if the kidney is not accepted by the body your son will die. So the doctor advised us saying you should try managing with one kidney. Even my wife had kidney stones and we got them removed. Then suddenly she suffered a heart attack so we had to take her to Kurnool and then Hyderabad for surgery. She is ok now.
INTERVIEWER: How did you get the Arogyasri card? Did you apply or someone asked you to get it done?
Speaker: Everyone in the village got it. We also put our names.
INTERVIEWER: Who applied on your behalf?
Speaker: The same people who gave us our ration cards gave this card too. I am a farmer so don't know much about these things. They applied on our behalf and we got it.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a voter ID card?
Speaker: Yes, we have it.
INTERVIEWER: It's a white card?
INTERVIEWER: Do you have any other cards?
INTERVIEWER: Don't you have an Adhaar card?
INTERVIEWER: You had mentioned the Rachabanda Card. What is that?
Speaker: We had old cards from before my yongest son was married. Now all of us have our own cards.
INTERVIEWER: They gave you separate cards for each family.
INTERVIEWER: What is your annual income from your farms? How much an acre?
Speaker: We have little land and grow paddy on it. We get about 10-15 sacks of rice harvest.
INTERVIEWER: Why haven't you taken the 100 days work card?
Speaker: They didn’t give it to us.
INTERVIEWER: Why didn’t you take it?
Speaker: We did not know about it.
INTERVIEWER: Has no one in your area taken it?
Speaker: Some of them have got it, people who knew about it.
INTERVIEWER: From when you can remember, what are the schemes that you have benefitted from the most? Like rice when N.T.Ramarao was around?
Speaker: I don’t know anything about these schemes.
INTERVIEWER: Have you got a house?
Speaker: Two of my sons got it. My youngest son did not.
INTERVIEWER: Have you got it?
Speaker: No sir.
INTERVIEWER: Did you apply?
Speaker: Yes sir, I applied and did not get. They don't give reasons.
INTERVIEWER: Does your family work as daily wagers?
Speaker: Yes we do. We have bullock carts as well.
INTERVIEWER: How many oxen do you have?
Speaker: Four. We rent them out.
INTERVIEWER: Do you plough other people’s fields?
Speaker: Yes we do. They pay us Rs.400 a day. This week we were paid only Rs.300. They pay us more if they have the money. Now because there are no rains they pay us Rs.200. We take what ever they pay.
INTERVIEWER: Do you have a bank account?
Speaker: State Bank of India.
INTERVIEWER: From how many years do you have this account?
Speaker: About 5 years.
INTERVIEWER: Why did you open it?
Speaker: We opened it to put some money in it whenever we made enough to save a small amount.
INTERVIEWER: What money do you put in it?
Speaker: There is no money in the account.
INTERVIEWER: Then why did you open it?
Speaker: For the house bill reimbursements etc.
INTERVIEWER: So you opened it for the house related bills?
Speaker: Yes. We have a house that we have rented. We put that rent in.
INTERVIEWER: Have you rented it to a shop?
Speaker: No, the government has taken it on rent to store cement meant for the Indiramma Padakam.
INTERVIEWER: So they give you a cheque that you put in the bank.
Speaker: Yes sir. They had not paid for almost for a year and a half. They need to pay 20 months’ rent.
INTERVIEWER: Have you taken a loan from a cooperative?
INTERVIEWER: What about micro-finance loans?
Speaker: There is a society we took a loan from them. We also took a loan from a bank.
INTERVIEWER: How much money do you owe the banks?
Speaker: 1 lakh.
INTERVIEWER: What are your monthly installments?
Speaker: We repay every year take another loan.
INTERVIEWER: What is the interest?
Speaker: It is not much. Rs.25 paisa.
INTERVIEWER: In how many installments do you have to pay that?
Speaker: We have to pay the whole amount lump sum. We can then take that back after repaying the loan.
INTERVIEWER: Have you taken from the weekly lending companies?
INTERVIEWER: Are there micro finance companies here.
Speaker: They are there. But they haven’t borrowed from them.
INTERVIEWER: Have a lot of people taken?
Speaker: Yes, lot of people have.
INTERVIEWER: Have you borrowed money from private money lenders?
INTERVIEWER: What do you do when you have expenditures like weddings etc?
Speaker: We borrow from relatives and pay it back.
INTERVIEWER: What is the rate of interest when you borrow from private money lenders?
Speaker: It’s Rs.2.
INTERVIEWER: For this money that you borrow at Rs.2 do you have to pay it in installments or do you.
Speaker: You either pay it all at once. Or you pay the interest in one installment and the principal in the other.
INTERVIEWER: Are you part of a chit fund group?
Speaker: No. We take loans and then repay it once our crops have been harvested.
INTERVIEWER: What will you do if you don't have a harvest and can't pay?
Speaker: The interest will accrue till it’s repaid. They will have to work as daily wagers and repay the loan. If they cannot pay this year they will have to repay it the next year with the interest.
INTERVIEWER: Do you know anyone who has benefitted from Arogyasri? Is there anyone from among your relatives who have availed the scheme?
Speaker: I don't know.
INTERVIEWER: How did you know that you get free treatment under the scheme?
Speaker: I went to Kurnool and told the doctor that I am a poor man.