Eating on a Bangladesh budget: Reflections

Eating on a Bangladeshi villager’s budget for just four days has been a humbling experience. I tried to eat more interesting food rather than higher-calorie food and paid the price. I’ve lost 1.7kg in four days, and I feel weak and light-headed.

Home comforts

I decided at the beginning to experiment solely with food, so I’ve not even tried to measure how much fuel I’ve used to cook the food, or make any other changes to my lifestyle. The heating has remained on, I’ve had a hot shower every day and slept in a comfortable bed in a weatherproof house. I think the villagers we met would think they’d died and gone to heaven to live in such luxury.

Healthcare has been available to me if needed, travel has been quick and convenient, I’ve had the use of telephones, television, radio and dozens of other things we take for granted, none of which are available to the villagers we met. I wonder if we would be as warm, welcoming and friendly to them as they were to us?

Respect and admiration

Visiting Bangladesh, seeing the poverty and deprivation as well as the beautiful countryside and really lovely people has had a profound effect on me. This short exercise in empathy and understanding has increased even further my respect and admiration. 

Small amounts of support from those of us who have so much can make such a huge difference to their lives. Save the Children saves children’s lives, fights for their rights, and helps them fulfil their potential; it could hardly be more important.

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  • Chris Wiseman

    Nigel, I am full of admiration for your efforts, and the blog really brought home the grim reality of living on the edge, it all sounds quite scary . How can the children benefit from any education with empty tummies? How can the parents put in a full and effective day’s work? How can they cope with illness with no reserves? So many questions, and the answer should be easy to put into action when the world does produce enough food for everyone, there is just a very significant miss match on supply and demand.