Ms. Sahayamalar lost her husband during the period of war. She is the secretary of the Periyakulam village WRDS as well as the Self Help Group (SHG) of her own neighborhood. Her main source of income is by cultivation of 1 ½ acres paddy field, but unfortunately the rice crop last season was lost due to drought. Due to the losses last time she did not cultivate her fields in the present season, which she says has resulted in foregoing a considerable amount of income which would have helped to support her 4 children.
She was a livelihood support recipient under this project and purchased a cow worth Rs. 70,000. She supplemented Caritas Mannar contribution of Rs. 40,000 with her own funds amounting to Rs. 30,000. The Cow has calved and she was able to obtain about 5 litres of milk a day. Unfortunately the calf died, but she is still able to get some milk from the cow. “I am able to sell about 3 litres of milk a day at Rs. 60 per litre, after leaving aside about 2 litres for my children. I also make food parcels for sale on prior orders. These activities have helped me to support my family. I must thank Caritas Mannar for the training I received to manage my income, ” she says with gratitude.
Speaking of community issues, she says that their WRDS needed to be strengthened and Caritas Mannar stepped in at the right moment to help improve the organizational capacity of the WRDS. “We have taken up the problem about the village roads with our Member of Parliament. He has promised to allocate some funds from his development allocation. We hope that this problem will be resolved soon. Once again, I must thank Caritas Mannar and CAFOD for the support they have given us” .
Ms. Jeyakumar Sahayamalar
Widow with 4 children