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Mary Fernandez

Player Number 4

Location: Mumbai

Pay close attention to the rules and conditions mentioned below, it is crucial that you play your turn accordingly. Do not reveal or mention these rules to the other players.

  • During your turn, all three dice are rolled once by the facilitator.

  • You will move forward the value of the highest die. For example, if you get 3, 4, 6 - you will move forward 6 tiles.

 

Who is Mary?

I am 35 years old and I work as a bank teller in State Bank of India. I live with my husband, Thomas, and two children, in the Andheri Railway Colony in Mumbai, where several buildings have been declared unsafe. I worry, but I don’t know what else to do -- where else will we live? I just ignore these news stories. I see the notices on the buildings, but I walk past them hurriedly. I studied at a local government school here, and my children attend the same school now. I did my BA at the local government college. It was all right -- all we had to do was take notes, learn them by heart, and just reproduce them in the exam. I passed okay and then I got this job in the government bank -- what more can a person want? Both my husband and I are government employees.  Our children study in the local municipal school, the teachers aren't interested in the students' future, so we spend a lot getting private tuition for them. We thought, even if we send our children to a private school and pay more fees, we would still need to pay extra for private tuitions. So might as well save the school fees and use it for better tuitions. We’ve told them there’s only one thing that will make them successful -- Study! Study! Study! Sometimes they rebel -- sigh -- but I force them to study by all means necessary. 

 

Our house has one piped toilet and bathroom. We face water troubles though. The water supply in the area comes for only 2 hours every day, and that too at 6 am! The water is very brown in colour and there is little pressure. I barely manage to fill two buckets. But a water tanker comes every Saturday, in a temporary colony of seasonal migrants. A water mafia supplies water here – they buy it from the municipal authorities, who have some water tankers but not enough to service all the areas of the city. So the municipal water tankers tend to go to the shopping malls while the mafia operates in the slums. Saturday becomes water storage day for the Fernandez family! We go on the scooter to save time and to try to beat the queue. Some people glare at us because we’re outsiders and look better off than them. This water costs 10 times the cost of the municipal supply ! About 1/4th  of my family income goes towards water costs. But at least it’s drinkable after boiling. So I don’t complain. Thomas makes several trips to take us all back home with the water. 

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