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Atai: a young woman

My name is Atai. I was born in October 1954. By the time I began to remember things, all the adults in my family were taking part in collective labour in a production team. My grandfather herded sheep, my grandmother raised pigs, my father was the leader of a production team, and my mother worked in the fields. I still remember that my grandmother was very good at raising pigs, and she won many prizes and certificates of merit. I have one elder brother, three younger brothers, and two younger sisters. My elder brother is crippled by polio, so l had to help my mother cook and look after the younger brothers and sisters when I was a mere child. At the age of six, I began to gather firewood in the mountains and to cut green fodder. I wore patched clothes all the year round. I had never had padded shoes. In fact, I went barefoot. When I saw my friends going to school with their school bags, I begged my parents to let me go too. My father felt embarrassed and said: "Our family is poor and there is so much work to do. You can't help the family if you go to school, and our life will become more difficult. "

I began to take part in collective productive labour when I was 12 years old. At that time I earned only two or three work points a day, which was equivalent to a little over ten fen (100 fen = 1 yuan). I worked with great energy, and by the time I was 16 I earned eight to ten work points a day (about 50 fen), which was the maximum for women. I worked more than ten hours a day. This is how I spent my childhood and teenage days. The only time I felt happy was at the festivals. I liked New Year's Day, the Spring Festival, and Tibetan Ren Liao Festival best and always counted the days until they came around. When the festive days arrived, I would get up very early and dress smartly, putting on an embroidered scarf, earrings, flowers, and new clothes before I went out to enjoy myself. In the evenings, I would dance around the bonfire with friends as much as I liked. I really enjoyed it very much.

I fell in love with Aza, a young man living in a neighbouring village, when I was 16. I often saw him going to school with his school bag when I was herding sheep. He became more handsome as he grew up. He was not only a good worker, but he also played the flute very well. He often accompanied my singing with his flute. Both Aza's parents had been dead for some time and he was then living with his elder brother and sister-in-law. And so, following our Tibetan custom, he asked his brother and sister-in-law to ask for my hand. Although my parents' marriage was an arranged one, they believed in freedom of choice and held that I had a right to choose my own life partner long as we two loved each other. After we were engaged, Aza often came to help me cut firewood and do some of the heavy work. I meticulously made him a pair of shoe-pads and two pairs of cloth socks.

During the spring festival of 1972 Aza took me on his bicycle to the district government office for marriage registration. The traditional wedding ceremony was presided over by the leader of the production brigade and held in the brigade's club. We put on new Tibetan costumes and wore big red flowers. After drinking highland barley wine, my friends and guests sang happily around me with flute accompaniment by Aza. Girls and young men danced Tibetan dances hand in hand, while the older people drank wine in the middle. It was the best and most unforgettable night of my life.

As it was beyond our means to build a new house after we got married, we had to live separately with our own families which were about two kilometres apart. But we often stayed in each other's homes alternately for a few days. We worked very hard in order to save money. I didn't stop working even after I became pregnant; the production team gave me some light work to do. At that time I earned about two thousand work points a year, while Aza got four to five thousand for heavy work like chopping wood and making charcoal. On holidays he would go hunting, and sometimes, if he was lucky, he got wild boars, bears, and river deer.

We had a daughter in 1973 and a son four years later. The childbirths were managed at home with the help of a "barefoot doctor" from the production team. Aza helped me wash napkins, carry water, and do household chores, while my grandmother helped me take care of my children. I did not want to have more children after my second birth, so I began to use contraceptive devices.

Not until 1977 did we build our own small house with three storeys of four rooms on which we spent about 2,000 yuan we had saved. My parents gave me a milking cow and we raised some pigs and chickens. At last, we had our own little home, and though we were still quite poor, we felt very happy because I loved my husband and children and they loved me too.

The happiest time for me came in 1982 after the adoption of the family joint contract responsibility system of production in our village. With four family members, we were allotted 7.2 mu (15 mu = I hectare) of land, ten yaks, and three Chinese prickly ash trees. In the first year, we grew corn and potatoes and we got a net income of 330 yuan from agricultural production. By then, Aza had become crazy about driving, so he attended a special course for training tractor drivers sponsored by the County Agricultural Machinery Bureau. We borrowed about 1,000 yuan and pooled enough money to raise 4,800 yuan to buy a small tractor for transporting goods. We paid off our debts very soon. In 1983 I noticed the high price of cabbage in the market, so I planted 1.1 mu of cabbage as well as the grain. I harvested more than 3,000 kilos of cabbage and sold them at a good price. Aza occasionally went to dig medicinal plants or undertook other small projects besides his transportation business. As a result, we had a net income of over 5,000 yuan in 1983.

In 1984, we spent more than 3,000 yuan extending our house to 18 rooms. The first floor is used as pens for keeping domestic animals and the second one includes a kitchen and living rooms where we sleep and meet our friends. Our children have their own bedrooms. On the third floor there is a storage room and a lectorium. Each Tibetan family has a lectorium where we chant scripture and worship. In the same year, I planted over 100 apple trees interspersed with vegetables and soya beans. Aza went to fruit-growing classes run by the township. He was responsible for pruning and grafting our trees while I took charge of manuring and watering. Our annual family income increased steadily. As well as buying two imported watches and a tape-recorder, we purchased a new big tractor last year. I buy new clothes for my husband and children every year. In 1987, we spent 700 yuan on decorating the Iectorium. Now we have the right to arrange our own production, so during winter and in my free time I weave colourful waistbands at home. My work is beautiful. I also help friends and relatives weave waistbands and occasionally I barter waistbands for embroidered scarfs.

On New Year's Day and other festivals I take my whole family to visit my parents. We quite often go to help them with heavy work throughout the year, too. My neighbours are an old couple without any children, so we usually help them with their farm work, carrying water or doing household chores. We also give them fresh vegetables, sugar, and wine. The life of farmers in our village has improved a lot, but the fine tradition of helping each other is still being kept up.

My only regret is that I had no chance to go to school when I was a child. I have suffered a lot because of my illiteracy. Hence I was determined that my children should not follow the old road. My daughter is now in the sixth year of primary school and my son is in the fourth. Both of them do well in their studies and are always among the best in the class. They also help me with herding the cattle and other odd jobs. My greatest wish is that they will study hard and go to a university and become useful people.

Asman: A Housekeeper

Thirty-six-year-old Asman is the eldest daughter-in-law of a large Tibetan peasant family. Both her parents-in-law are in their sixties. The old couple has eight children, most of whom are married; they now live with their eldest son and daughter-in-law, two unmarried children, and two grandchildren. The family is a harmonious one with three generations living under one roof.

Born after the liberation, Asman was also from a peasant family. Though there was a primary school in the village, only a few girls attended because they had to help their mothers with the housework. Like other girls, Asman had to look after her younger brothers, herd cattle, and collect green feed for the pigs. Yearning to be educated, she went to school at the age of nine, but she had to leave a year later because her mother fell seriously ill. Her mother and two brothers died one after the other when she was 11. As her father was not good at housekeeping, she had to manage the household affairs, work on the farm, and feed the cattle.

At 19, she married Dongzhuosijia, a young man she loved dearly. But she was ill at ease because there was no one to look after her old grandmother, her father, and her younger brother, and she returned to her maternal home three days after her wedding. Her husband understood how she felt. He often came to her home to give her a hand with ploughing and cuttting firewood. More than ten years passed like this, and though they lived separately, the husband and wife understood and loved each other. It was not until 1982, when Asman's grandmother died and her younger brother got married, that she came back to her husband's home with her two children.

1982 was also the year when the joint contract responsibility system was put into practice and remuneration became linked to production. The family was allotted 14 mu of land. When they got together to decide how they would work it, Asman volunteered to share the farm work with her husband and her younger brother-in-law. She felt that as her parents-in-law had worked so hard all their lives they ought to have some rest now they were getting old and her disabled sister-in-law, long an invalid, needed more care.

The corn, potatoes, and cabbages they harvested were more than enough for family use and stock fodder, and they sold the surplus in the market. At Asman's suggestion, they planted two mu of apple trees on their contracted land. After several years' hard work they were able to produce 5,000 kilos of apples in a good year. The family bred 6 pigs and 12 head of cattle and had 20 yaks grazing on high mountain pasture. In addition, they bought a tractor, which Asman's husband and younger brother-in-law took turns to operate for ploughing the land and for transportation. Within a few years the family's storehouse overflowed with grain and their house was rebuilt and expanded. It was a magnificent scene of prosperity.

Full of vigour, Asman took over the work of washing, sewing, and mending from her mother-in-law. Her loving care embraced the whole family: the younger brother-in-law and sister-in-law trusted her, confiding even their intimate secrets and anxieties to her and seeking her advice. When her husband's married brothers and sisters came she always received them with generosity and cordiality. In recent years their living standards, like hers, had improved a great deal. Only her husband's fourth sister and her husband lived less well, though they only had one child. Asman showed the utmost solicitude for them by sending them gifts and food and necessities after each harvest.

The old couple had worked hard all their lives, and they refused to stay idle, let alone leave the housework in the hands of others. However, ever since this capable and kind daughter-in-law came into the family, their burdens have been much lighter. Over the last few years they have been able to lead a life of Ieisure, visiting various famous mountains like Emei and Qingcheng and making pilgrimages to Wutai Mountain in Shansi and the Taer Temple in Qinghai province. Asman is affectionately called "our beloved housekeeper" by her parents-in-law and other members of the family.

Ren Zhen Chu: a middle-aged woman

I am 39 this year (1988). I was brought up in a poor craftsman's family. My parents were very skilful at embroidery and sewing. My father made clothing for the headman's family and my mother did embroidery and wove belts. They were so busy the year round that they had no time to look after their children. There were eight of us, and I am the fifth. Until I was two years old I stayed in bed all day long, though I often crawled to the edge and fell off, bruising myself black and blue. When I grew older my elder brothers and sisters took turns to carry me on their shoulders to the fields with the dogs and sheep. Later on my mother gave birth to another two sons and one more daughter. When I was five it became my turn to carry my younger brothers on my back.

In 1956, when I was seven, some reforms were carried out in our village. My family was allotted a few mu of land and a cow. My mother and my elder brother farmed the land and my father went to teach Tibetan script in Shuajin Temple in Songpan county, sending money back every year. Our life became much better than before. My elder sister and I went to school the next year and we led a happy and carefree existence. At 15, when I was in the first grade of junior middle school, I found I could not keep up with the others and I often fell asleep in class. I thought farming was much easier, so I left school. My mother and my elder brother scolded me and urged me to go back, but I insisted, and they had to let me do as I wanted. Of the eight of us, the five younger ones have been to school. My elder sister and two younger brothers finished the middle school; my younger sister and I left school after finishing the first grade of our secondary education.

When I was 17 someone came and proposed a match for me. There had been three young suitors writing me letters, but I didn't like any of them, because I felt they were ugly or bad-tempered. My mother let me have my way. It was not until I was 21 that I met an ideal young man, Heerbin, whom one of my neighbours introduced to me. He was clever, hard working, and good-tempered. My mother thought he lived too far away, but I loved him and a year later I married him and went to live in his house.

My husband had an old father of 60 and a younger brother and a sister in their early teens. After our marriage I gave birth to two daughters. As we Tibetans do not discriminate against them - a girl is just as good as a boy - I decided not to have any more babies. I don't believe in the saying "more children, more blessings." My mother has toiled all her life for her eight children, but how happy is she?

As a family we were hardly well-off in the first few years of our marriage. Although five of us worked in the production team, our annual income was less than 100 yuan in cash. However, we got about 1,000 kilos of grain, which was quite enough for our subsistence. In addition, we had pigs and milking cows, which provided us with enough meat and milk. My father-in-law was a good orchardist and the trees under his care were very productive. Unfortunately, at that time anyone who grew fruit trees was considered to be a capitalist sympathizer. Afraid of being called this, we cut down four of the five walnut trees in our courtyard.

The rural economic reform began in our village in 1980. Our production team developed a diversified economy and no longer labelled everything as capitalism. The team organized its members for lumbering and picking herbs. Our daily income per person increased from less than one yuan to two yuan. In 1982 our family got 2,500 kilos of grains and over 3,000 yuan in cash. In the same year we spent 2,000 yuan building a new house for our younger brother and his bride. The next year we married off our younger sister with a decent dowry of 400 kilos of grains, eight suits, and two suitcases.

At the beginning of 1983 the household responsibility system was put into practice here. My family contracted for 4 mu of land and 10 mu of orchard. In addition to the fruit trees in front of and behind our house, we had altogether 350 apple trees, 100 Chinese prickly ash, and 10 walnut trees. My husband had had only one year's schooling and could read very little. However, in order to be a good orchardist, as well as learning from his father he tried to read books on how to grow fruit trees and he sought the advice of agro-technologists. As a result of careful management, the yield from our orchard increased from 2,500 to 5,000 kilos in the second year and kept on growing in the following years. In 1986 a meeting was held to choose the best apple-growers in the county. The apples from our orchard were high in yield, big in size, and good to taste, and my family was placed number 2 in the whole county.

Just when our life was getting better, my father-in-law died. As the old man had worked so hard when he was alive we engaged 12 lames and monks to recite Buddhist sutras for five days. His body was cremated on a stack of firewood on the sixth day and his ashes were buried outside the lame temple. Our relatives and friends planted 100 canon streamers, each of which was made of six metres of white cloth and printed with Buddhist sutras. We usually had to plant them beside our houses to dispel demons, avert evil, and bring blessings, and it was believed that by planting them around the cremation ground souls could be released from purgatory. The funeral cost us 2,000 yuan which we had planned to spend on house repairs, but we felt it was worth while.

Last year we estimated the yield of apples from our orchard would reach 7,500 kilos, but a heavy downpour washed away the fertile soil at the roots of the trees. As a result, the apples were small and ugly and we suffered a big loss. I had to make up this loss by selling grain, cows, pigs, and eggs. I still wanted to repair my house. We Tibetans are used to cooking indoors and heat our rooms with firewood, which means smoke-blackened walls and ceilings. I planned to whitewash the inner walls, cook the food on a chimneyed stove and warm the rooms with an electric heater instead of the old fire, but we spent too much money over the last few years, with the natural disaster on top of that. Buying a TV set and a tape-recorder has to be postponed for a year or two.

Our eldest daughter is 14 now. Like me, she has no interest in studying and is now working on the farm. I am going to teach her embroidery and how to weave belts, just as my mother taught me. My younger daughter does well academically. She is now in the second grade of primary school. I hope she will continue to study and enrol in the Institute of Nationalities in Sichuan province when she grows up.

Asman: the Tibetan landlady

Asman, a 42-year-old Tibetan woman, and her husband Sanlangenbo run a "Happy Inn" by the highway on the bank of the Zagunao River in the autonomous Tibetan prefecture of Aba. People call her "The Tibetan landlady." Among the local women, who are still not used to her kind of enterpreneurship, she is a pioneer.

Asman was brought up in a poor peasant family with many children. After the liberation, she began school at the age of eight. As her younger brother and sister were very small, she often went to help her parents in the field after school. When she was in the fifth grade she had to leave school because of financial difficulties in her family. At the age of 14 she went to work in a production team. In the beginning she worked as a recorder of work points. She did well and was appointed as a grain storekeeper the following year, and worked as this for ten years.

At 19 she fell in love with Sanlangenbo, a young man from her village. They were former primary schoolmates. Sanlangenbo had gone on to study in a middle school, but he returned to the village to farm after graduation. All Asman's family liked the capable young man. A year later traditional festivities were held on the production team's threshing ground to celebrate their wedding. Many relatives and friends came to extend their greetings, drinking qingke (highland barley) spirits and doing traditional circle dances.

After they were married the young couple worked as hard as ever, but because of the low value of work points and the financial condition of both families, things were rather difficult. It took them as long as four years to save over 1,000 yuan to build a small six-roomed house of three storeys. They had four children. The eldest was a daughter, clever and beautiful, who in her teens was selected to be a dancer and actress in the Song and Dance Troupe of the prefecture. The second daughter died of pneumonia. Later Asman gave birth to two sons. One is studying in the middle school and the other is in primary school.

In 1979 there was an accident. Asman's husband fell and was injured while installing electric wires for the production team. He was hospitalized for more than four months, and although the team paid all the medical bills and an additional sum of 50 yuan as a relief fund, he could no longer work in the team to earn a living. Asman not only had to take care of her husband and children, but to earn as well. What could she possibly do to support her family? There were three hard years for Asman. She was at her wit's end, almost without hope.

It was at this critical juncture that the rural economic reforms and the contract responsibility system introduced a diversified economy and brought her new prospects. The couple decided to use their knowledge and experience to find a way out. As a first step, Sanlangenbo, being an electrician, contracted for the management of the 55-kilowatt power station in the village. Next the couple decided to apply for a loan from the state to build an inn and restaurant by the roadside. They also sold cigarettes and drinks to passers-by, who found it difficult to get a place to eat or stay as this mountainous area was sparsely inhabited. When the inn and restaurant began doing business, Asman concentrated her main attention on the inn and her husband saw to the restaurant. Early in the morning Asman cleaned every corner of the inn and sent hot water to the guest rooms. After doing the washing and seeing to the bedding she went to help her husband cook and serve food. In addition to all this, she energetically farmed the land and fed the pigs. The wife and husband always helped and supported each other.

Their inn was clean and comfortable, the food fresh and tasty, the service good, and the charges reasonable, so before long it became well known. Drivers and passengers liked to stay there. The number of beds in the guest rooms soon increased from 21 to 52. The couple employed four workers to help them and bought new equipment, including a film projector. Their services expanded to include showing films and washing trucks and buses.

Now that they had succeeded, they wanted to share what they had with the other villagers. For example, they supplied electricity free of charge to the 30 families in the village for domestic use for two years, so many families began to use electricity for cooking. At New Year and other festivals they organized film shows, dancing parties, or get-togethers to entertain the villagers free of charge. There was always fun and laughter in their small inn where old Tibetan customs and modern civilization merged. Outside, streamers printed with ancient Buddhist sutras fluttered in the wind, while inside a refrigerator, washing machine, and several other domestic electrical appliances were visible. In the sitting-room there was the sacred hada, a white silk scarf that symbolizes luck and happiness, and an electric stove had replaced the old fire. Under the bright neon lights some guests did circle dances, while others danced disco steps to songs from the tape-recorder.

Hai Zhang Tou: an old woman who was once a slave

My name is Hai Zhang Tou. I am 65 years old now (1988). I have been a serf, as my parents were. Serfs rented land from a tribal chief. They had to hand over half of their harvest as rent, and also to work for his family gratis for about 15 days every month, bringing their own grain ration with them. My father was a serf like that. He died, worn out, when I was only five. My mother brought up her three children by herself: I was her only helper. When I was six, I started to help mother herding cattle, looking after my younger brother and sister, and doing household chores. At seven I accompanied my mother to dig medicinal herbs in the high mountains, leaving the younger ones in the care of our neighbours. Each trip took nearly a month. The weather is changeable up there: "There are four seasons in a mountain and different climates every ten li." We were sometimes caught in storms with thunder or hailstones. At night we stayed in makeshift shelters, sometimes threatened by bears, jackals, or wolves. We were often cold and hungry. Coming down the mountain, my mother had to carry over 50 kilos of herbs while I carried all the clothing and other things we used. She was tall and beautiful, but after the death of my father her health was crushed by the heavy burden of life. The year I was 13 she fell victim to typhoid fever which was then raging in our village. Without medicine and with nobody coming to help us, we three children just sat there and watched her dying in agony. After her death my uncle came. He sold the few head of cattle and sheep that we had and engaged lames to chant scriptures in expiation of the sins of the dead. After that my younger sister was led away by a distantly related uncle, while my younger brother and I were taken to Suo Yong He, a tribal chief, to work for him as slaves.

A house in Tibet is commonly divided into three storeys. The first floor usually serves as a pen for livestock, the second floor as living quarters, and the third one as a lectorium. At that time Suo Yong He's household included more than 30 slaves who were locked up on the ground floor with the animals. Men and women lived separately. There were no beds and we slept on the ice-cold ground covered with grass and worn animal skins. We had highland barley, peas, and wheat bran for food and wore coarse cloth robes and short baggy trousers made of sacking. The length of a garment was a symbol of social status so the lower hem of a slave's robe was not allowed to reach below his or her knee.

My work was to wait upon the mistress. When I was ordered to fetch her something, I had to kneel down, bow low, and present it respectfully with both hands. When she went to the toilet two of us slave-girls had to keep watch. We also had to go down on our knees to serve as mounting blocks for the master to step on when he got on a horse. The mistress beat and kicked us at will; I could hardly remember how many times I had been beaten.

I got to know Yang Zhong Er Jia when I was 19. He was a young peasant who came from the same village as I did. His only family was his elderly mother. He was very poor with only few mus of bad land. He was tall and husky and a well-known sharpshooter in our township. He often went hunting to help out with the family expenses. At that time slaves were discriminated against, their status being the lowest in society, and ordinary people did not want to marry them. But Yang Zhong Er Jia loved me and was determined to marry me in spite of his mother's objections. When I was 23 we got married with the permission of the tribal chief. At that period a wedding ceremony for rich people was grand and solemn and took about three days. The bridal couple would put on new and expensive clothes and ornament themselves with gold and inlaid jade. They would ride horses and "present a hada," the traditional Tibetan white silk scarf used as a gift to greet people. Even when poor people married they would wear new clothes and invite friends and relatives to drink barley wine and dance for one night. But when I was married I had no new clothes. In fact, no one even came to congratulate me because my mother-in-law drove all the relatives and friends away and forbade them to dance. I was still bound by the feudal rule, as I had to go on working without payment after my marriage. As well as that, I had to silently endure the beating and cursing of my mother-in-law. When she died of an illness two years later we were in debt and our life became more difficult, but at least I had my own family.

In 1950 my hometown was peacefully liberated. Some of the tribal chiefs fled to India while others joined the new coalition. The government distributed farm implements, seed, cattle, and relief funds to us and our life became better. In 1956 reforms were introduced and our family got five mus of land, some livestock, clothing, and other necessities. However, for me the most important thing was that with the help and education of the work team I began to understand why the poor people had suffered so much in the past. I condemned the lawless tribal chiefs' cruel oppression and exploitation with accusations based on my personal experiences. As I had been a slave who dared to speak, I got support from the villagers, who elected me to be the head of a village women's committee. I worked wholeheartedly for the people, but I was uneducated and could not read and write, so when we studied documents I simply listened carefully and tried to keep them in my head. When I recorded work points for the co-operative members I just drew circles and dealt out bamboo tallies. It was hard to avoid mistakes working this way, which sometimes led to quarrels. However, the villagers consistently trusted me because I was fair and just in handling affairs. Our place was in a remote area, so during the Cultural Revolution we did not suffer as much as the others in the interior. I was criticized twice, in the village and in the township, and was not allowed to run affairs. I didn't care about this, feeling at ease instead. A year later I was elected as the head of a women's committee again and I held this post until I retired in 1983. The present head of the women's committee and the others who run the cadres at grass-roots level are now educated young people. Being and literate, they can do much better than me. However, they still respect me and ask me for advice sometimes; for my part, I try to counsel them as best I can.

Both my husband and I arc good workers, but in the past more work could not bring in more income. Women labourers only got eight work points a day while men got ten. Even when my husband shot a bear he still got no more than ten work points. The value of the work points then was very low, too. At that time our children were small, and though we worked very hard all the year round we still owed the production team about 300 yuan. As our children grew up we paid off our debt bit by bit. There were families who never paid off their debts. In 1981 rural economic reforms were introduced here and farm output quotas were fixed for each production group. Productivity rose as a result. In the following year a contract responsibility system was implemented. Each household was allocated an average of 2.7 mus of land per person and payment was linked to output. Within a year the income of every family rose significantly.

I have three sons and one daughter and all of them are married. I have now ten grandchildren altogether. Both my husband and I suffered a lot because of our illiteracy, so although we were badly off in those days, we tried our best to let our children go to school. Of the four, three finished primary school or secondary vocational school. My second son had only two years of schooling because the family needed help at that time.

At present my husband and I live in our second son's family with his wife and four children. We now work 17 mus of contracted land, keep two milking cows, four sheep, and six pigs, and we also have six beehives. We have planted apple trees on the family land and bought a tractor for transporting goods as well as farm use. My family's income could be said to be around the middle level in the village.

My eldest son built a new house a few years ago and his family moved out and lives separately now. He has four grown-up children and his eldest son-in-law has settled down in his family. As they have plenty of strong labour in the family they are quite well-off. The pocket money they give us is more than enough for my husband's expenses for cigarettes and wine the year round. My third son is a graduate of a secondary vocational school. Both he and his wife work in the chief town of the county. They are the only ones in my family who live on wages. All the clothes we have are bought by them. When we have leisure time we go to visit them and stay for a few days. My daughter is also married and lives in the same village as we do, so we often visit each other. All our children are very good to us. Last year, when my husband was sick, our three sons took him to a hospital in the provincial capital. The doctor diagnosed his illness as stomach trouble and he recovered very soon after some medical treatment. Who could have expected that my husband and I, after having suffered so much and toiled as slaves in the past, could live a happy life today?

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