The beneficiaries included estate employees and garment workers who were at a factory that has stopped operating due to the curfew. The garment workers are unable to return to their home towns and have no food or money to purchase food.
Since they were not from the area, they were not eligible to receive the Rs. 5,000 in aid given by the government nor did they get any other relief.
“Before the start of the pandemic I was employed in a shop and my mother worked as a labourer in an office. My father is an invalid. When curfew was imposed my mother and I lost our incomes and our employers did not help us. We survived on the generosity of our neighbours, who would provide us with a little food. We received the rations from NPC when we were suffering and completely helpless. We are extremely grateful to Kurunagala DIRC, NPC and the Canadian donor for thinking about us during these difficult times,” said Shanika Swarnamali Ranathunga from Mawathagama.
“I am a 65-year-old mason and I am a daily wage worker. When the curfew was declared, I was unable to earn money for my family. I have four daughters who tried to find work but failed because of the strict curfew regulations and social distancing rules. We had absolutely no means of income and we couldn’t rely on our neighbours to help because we live in a poor area where everyone is suffering. We did not receive any relief from the government and our Grama Niladari couldn’t help us either so we are grateful for the dry rations pack we received from NPC and the Canadian donor and thankful to Kurunagala DIRC for coming to help us in these troubled times,” said Dharmalingam Karuppayya from Mawathagama.