Down to my last 120 PK Rupees here (at home in AJK) and minus about £12 (abroad in the UK). This is the lowest balance I've had in the past 6 months or even longer. Expenditure of my family (a wife, a daughter and a son) is about 30,000 PK Rupees a month, which at the current exchange rate is just under £200 (UK Sterling) or about £50 a week.
Not only is my 'work' unusual and unconventional but the way it is financed has also been ad hoc at best. It goes with the territory and you never know when there will be a sudden dip or rise in funding, which since 2014 has almost exclusively come from the public of AJK (local or diaspora). From 2005 to around 2008, I got by with my own resources even though I had orginally come just for a month.
Why I came here
For the following 5 years (between 2008 and 2013), it was mainly my family which ensured that those whom I was responsible for and I, didn't die of starvation. Simultaneously, I also managed to carry out much public activity which was increasingly being funded - in bits and pieces - by the public at large. I should also add that while most of the previous few years have been utilised in conducting the Citizen Public Opinion Survey - AJK , my wife's family have played a significant role in maintaining the needs of my wife and 2 children.
Now, for the past few months after publishing the initial summary of the survey report, I have been trying to gradually accomodate the needs of my family from the public funding that I receive, as well as conducting a forum to discuss the findings of the report, in each tehsil (subdivision) of AJK.
13th August - Dadyaal
13th September - Khuiratta
13th October - Charoi
13th November - Barnaala
13th December - Bhimber
Having conducted 5 forums on the 13th of each month since August to December 2017, I have now taken a break to complete writing up the extended report, which I hope to have published by March (2018) at the latest. I will then conduct a forum in each of the remaining 27 subdivisions on a weekly basis, so that I can complete the 'round' with the final forum at Muzaffarabad; AJK's capital city in October 2018.
I also hope to have a well chiselled out 'Charter of Demands' or even a 'Citizen's Charter' - derived from a thoroughly consulted process of the most significant individuals in each subdivision - for subsequent discussion with the members of AJK's Legislative Assembly.
As people who are already familiar with my work may testify, I have followed a very lengthy process of gathering public opinion in AJK and am now utilising that data to carve out a viable 'Charter of Demands' which could help shape a consensus between the public and politicians of AJK, on how to resolve our constitutional ambiguity.
We have spent over 70 years in trying to convince the rest of the world about our problems but have made little attempt to convince each other of a viable and agreeable plan of action to navigate ourselves out of the mess that we find ourselves in.
2032hrs: Toil, toil and more toil....
0940hrs: So, I am now sitting down to write a report on what has transpired over the past couple of weeks in AJK: As with previous ...
1514hrs: So, the whole of Jammu & Kashmir is mired in total uncertainty at the moment. This may be a time when most people are ...