DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY To Make a Difference

Assistance to EIP family

BDS Beneficiary: Kanagaratnam and K. Palaniyaai

LOCATION: Carolina Estate, Watawala, Nuwara Eliya

Kanagaratnam (85) and his wife K. Palaniyaai (80) live in the Binnoya division in the Carolina Estate in Watawala in the Nuwara Eliya District. They have six grown up children who are all married and living away from home and no body to care for them.

Kanagaratnam and his wife are both former estate workers and have worked on the Estate for nearly 25 years.  In 1997, Kanagaratnam was diagnosed with cancer and he also suffers from high blood pressure. His wife also suffers from Asthma and she too is now very fragile and unable to work. These dire conditions resulted in them begging for food for their survival.  There were many days where they did not even have a single meal.

The couple was selected for the Economically Inactive Poor (EIP) scheme by Berendina Development Services and started to receive a monthly assistance of Rs. 1,000 in dry rations since October 2008. Now the couple no longer begs for their food and is able to prepare their own food at home. BDS has also provided medicine for Kanagaratnam’s blood pressure and he visits a monthly clinic at a nearby hospital to monitor his condition.

Kanagaratnam states “I’m so thankful to Berendina for supporting me and my wife in our difficult times and for continuing this assistance for many years.

From darkness to light …

 BDS Beneficiary: P.V. Pechchai

LOCATION: Dickoya

P.V Pechchai (aged 77) was completely blind and had to live fully dependant on others. She had been a tea plucker on the Fordyce tea estate in Dickoya and after the death of her husband, she moved in with her son, however, two years ago she had developed a cataract and became completely blind. She was unable to walk or do any of her daily personal activities as a result of this. Her son and daughter-in-law were unable to go for work as a result of this situation and the family’s income also dropped as a result of this. Due to losing her sight Pechchai became very distressed and was also facing battle between life and death stated her neighbours.

However, all these problems were overcome when BDS sponsored an eye camp in November 2013, which changed her life. Pechchai was also able to participate in this clinic through the assistance of the estate medical assistant. After being provided a detailed eye examination, she was operated on and the cataract in one of her eyes was removed.

After her cataract operation, Pechchai’s life improved significantly and she became quite active resuming a lot of her daily activities. Earlier she could not even drink a sip of water without the assistance of another person and now she is even able to assist with some household chores for her family. Pechchai stated that, her life has gone from darkness to light and that she feels she has been reborn. She conveyed her heartfelt thanks to BDS for this assistance.

Living thanks to Berendina…

BDS Beneficiary: Bala Menike and A.G Heen Appu

LOCATION: Thirapane, Anurdhapura

Bala Menike (70) and A.G Heen Appu ( 85) live in Thirapane in the Anurdhapura district.  Balamenike has been suffering from Asthma for over 10 years and her husband Heen Appu has been suffering from chronic bronchitis and Asthma for over 20 years. He is also a heart patient.  The couple has two grown up daughters who are married and now live away from home.

The couple had earned their livelihood by performing various odd jobs in the past. Being an elderly couple their only source of income now is the Rs. 1000 monthly charity allowance given by the Government. Due to their medical problems the couple is required to make monthly doctor’s visits to the nearby town of Galkulama. They are also prescribed a regimen of medications for their medical problems. BDS has been providing medical allowances of Rs.1000 each to Bala Menike and Heen Appu since 2009 and these monthly medical allowances greatly assists them with the transport required for their monthly doctor’s visits and also for purchasing some of their medications. BDS has also gifted a wheel chair to Heen Appu  who is unable to stand up properly as a result of an injury sustained from falling off a tree many years ago. The wheel chair is also very helpful when he needs to make his monthly doctor’s visits.

About 6 years ago Bala menike had also lost her vision in both eyes due to cataracts and BDS had  provided assistance for Balamenike’s cataract operations and now Balamenike has once again regained  good vision in both her eyes.

Balamenike states” We live thanks to Berendina, if not for Berendina we would not have anybody to assist us in our old age, we are very grateful for the assistance given to us”.

A Hope to Live on

BDS Beneficiary: Nadeeka Kumari

Location: Kasamaduwa, Mihintale

Nadeeka Kumari was working as General Soldier in the Sri Lankan Army had all hopes when she got married to a fellow soldier but it didn't long last as the way she expected. He left while she was pregnant her and went to lead the life with another lady. She left her employment to deliver her child.  As both parents passed away and her only brother married and was living separately, Nadeeka was forced to stay at her uncles' house and thus underwent through immense difficulties.

BDS supported Nadeeka first with livelihood assistance providing thibbatu and lime crops as she had a ¾ acre land received from her parents. Due to severe weather conditions and her inability to move around to market the harvest as she had to attend her toddler, thibbatu cultivation ended up in a failure. Her staying with uncle also started to create problems.

BDS initiated to build Nadeeka's own house to minimize her difficulties partnered with Prof. Dias and Chakra Network and constructed the 2 roomed house with a toilet. Her immediate family members and neighbours also supported for this work. Chakra also contributed Rs. 10,000 to buy household utensils for her. BDS initiated livelihood assistance for her as she is skilled in making incense sticks. Now she does this activity at home and goes to different parts to sell her products, making an average monthly income of Rs. 10,000 for her family needs.

Making Profit from Vegetables

BDS Beneficiary: M. Sinnathambi

Location: Kumburupity East, Kuchchaveli

M. Sinnathambi settled with his family in Kumburupity East ten (10) years ago. An extended family with eight (8) members surviving in a little hut, he used to sell firewood collected from nearby  jungles with the use of his old bicycle. His daily earning was around Rs. 250 and sometimes his wife used to go for shrimp fishing in a nearby lake.

BDS officers visited his house in 2012 and had a discussion with the family and decided to provide him livelihood assistance to start a vegetable selling business. BDS provided him with a new bicycle with a carrier, a weighing scale and vegetables to start his business.  With this new support, he also started a small grocery at his house which was run by his wife, while he goes around the village  selling vegetables. His business started to develop and he started to sell not only vegetables but also other provisions/ingredients needed for cooking at his shop. At present, he earns a daily income of Rs. 450 from vegetable selling and another Rs. 300 from his grocery shop. BDS also provided him with fencing material for his house as well as mango and coconut plants with pitcher pots. Now, Sinnathambi leads a happy life and hopes to expand his income generation activity in the near future.

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