Livelihood, and Trade

Almost all of the families affected by the disaster have lost not only their dwellings but also their means of livelihood. Attempts are now being made by banks, Government and the Ministries concerned to rehabilitate the industries etc., so that normalcy returns speedily. However, such efforts will bear results only after a few months. During this period it is necessary that the families are provided with some income support, so that the day to day needs of the family can be met. More importantly, there is a danger that the relief will create a DEPENDENCY SYNDROME amongst the affected communities. Therefore it is necessary that the rehabilitation process is based on a scientifically designed empowerment programme.

It is unfortunate that a large number of fishing communities got affected and the tourist industry too got badly hit by the tsunami. Since the Government. is looking in to these two areas with considerable emphasis, Sarvodaya will go by case to case basis in assisting families whose livelihood is connected to these two sectors. How ever all the other needs of these communities will be in Sarvodaya focus until they settle down to a stable future.

The Goal of the proposed plan is to assist in the relief and rehabilitation of the victims through an Income Support scheme in order to mobilize them to participate in the rehabilitation and reconstruction process.

The Sarvodaya concept of ‘self help’ will be the guiding principle in engaging both directly and indirectly affected villagers and IDP�s in camps. The programme will deploy the services of both skilled and unskilled workers among youth and adults while women, able elders, and children can be engaged in a productive manner as well.

The cash for work program will also support the associated project dealing with water, sanitation and solid waste disposal. The requisite skills training for the project will be facilitated through training and development programs.

The Government has announced that they would be introducing a coupon system by which each family affected will be able to obtain their food requirements through the co-operative society network. The income support scheme will therefore aim to provide some supplementary income by employing a member of each family affected in gainful work associated with the rehabilitation effort. It is hoped that at least 10 days of work could be provided to each individual in any month, so that they could expect an estimated income of Rs.3500 per month on a regular basis for a limited period of 4 months. The basic nutritional requirement for a family of four has been estimated by a nutritionist to cost Rs 7440 per month. The cash for work programme will deliver around fifty percent of the required income per family engaging at least one member for at least ten to fifteen days a month. The balance income necessary to meet basic nutritional requirements will be supported by networking family members with deployment and engagement opportunities in rehabilitation work and in the business sector. The micro finance sector including Sarvodaya Economic Enterprise Division (SEEDS) will be encouraged to support the early reestablishment of the retail and wholesale trading sector, fisheries sector and tourism services sector. These three sectors were the backbone of employment and income generation for the affected people in the coastal areas.

The intention of deployment and engagement is to avoid creating a culture of dependency on a dole, but rather provide Cash for Work scheme for a limited period, during which every effort will be made to rehabilitate them in a regular economic activity.

The programme will provide the necessary skills training and transfers of best practices for upgrading skills levels in the affected communities.

Women, elders and youth who can be actively engaged in simple community support activities ‘Full engagement’ is a concept developed by Sarvodaya leader Dr. A.T.Ariyaratne which ensures that Women, elders and youth who cannot be a part of the labour force can be mobilized, instead, to contribute to community development in other capacities. The engagement process will specifically address the setting up of community peer groups (Pre School, school children, women, youth and elders) who will set the stage for self help programs and harmonious community participation.