Fishing Nets Free Them of Debt
first published: Dec. 23, 2010
Pradyun Chakraborty reclaimed his torn fishing net from the river. He and his wife counted the fish they caught—only 20 small Bagdha Ponnas, enough to get him 20 rupees (40 cents US). The net alone cost him 200 rupees ($5 US) to rent, half of which he still owed to his creditor.
With fish escaping from his torn net and hardly any other work, Pradyun and his family were just barely surviving.
It was the same for Jalal Balan. He bought his fishing net on credit for 1,000 rupees ($22 US) and was slowly paying it off. The majority of the income he received from fishing and other daily labor went to feed his family. But work was scarce, and Jalal had no way to repay his debt.
Tahir Sampath, a Gospel for Asia-supported missionary, serves in the village where Pradyun and Jalal live. He knows firsthand of his fellow villagers' struggles. Before becoming a pastor, his family's financial strain pushed him to become a fisherman.
"Even though people here attempt to make life better, they have no opportunities and resources," he said. "The only option available to them is fishing."
Knowing how useful it would be for Pradyun and Jalal to have fishing nets of their own—one they wouldn't have to go further in debt over—Tahir petitioned for them to receive fishing nets as a Christmas gift.
"When we hand over fishing nets to these people, it may not be very big thing for people like us, but for these poor fishermen, it is a real big thing," Tahir explained.
Now that Pradyun and Jalal received their fishing nets, they are able to set aside more money for their families and pay off their old debts.
"I badly needed this net," Pradyun declared. "Because of the net, I am able to add a little amount of money to my income. It has become a great help for me."
"[With our] situation, we cannot buy a net like this," Jalal shared. "I wish you could capture the image of our hearts and know how much we are thankful to the Lord and the church for the gift we are given."
*Names of people and places may have been changed for privacy and security reasons. Images are GFA stock photos used for representation purposes and are not the actual person/location, unless otherwise noted.