Aims at wiping out poverty | Sunday Observer

Aims at wiping out poverty

The Gramashakthi People’s Movement has been launched by the Government as a flagship development program in line with the vision of President Maithripala Sirisena for a sustainable Sri Lanka with a robust economy, free of all forms of poverty, by year 2030.

The Gramashakthi program intends to fulfil the requirements of the people living in 15,000 villages aiming at creating an economically prosperous citizen with a clear understanding of his rights.

The national ceremony to launch the Gramashakthi People’s Movement was held at Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium under the auspices of the President on October 20.

This would provide facilities to the people living in 5,000 Grama Niladhari divisions to fulfil their basic needs, individually and collectively, by providing information, decision making power and resources by 2020, to reach the national sustainable development goal of eradicating extreme poverty and halving all forms of poverty by 2030.

Gramashakthi is a national movement, operated in line with the current programs for poverty alleviation, and is a combined program of state sector, private sector and the people.

The year 2017 was declared as the “ Year of Poverty Alleviation” by the President to empower the majority of the economically and socially disadvantaged people and make a reality of true freedom and equality for the Sri Lankan citizen.

Gramashakthi will be implemented covering the entire country, to provide sustainable solutions for the poverty faced by the country while understanding the challenges that confront poverty.

The program focuses on the livelihood requirements of the downright poor families in Grama Niladhari Divisions, the needs of women and unemployed youth and the war ravaged in the Northern and the Eastern Provinces. Coordinating Secretary to the President, and member of the National Steering Committee of the Gramashakthi movement, Shiral Lakthilaka told the Sunday Observer that Gramashakthi is about helping the rural economy to develop and connect it with the value and supply chains of the private sector.

It is not an isolated effort to revive the village, it is a pragmatic effort to connect rural production with the private sector value chains.

He said, the Gramashakthi program has several prime objectives. First, we have to revive the economy, for which the government as well as economists have proposed a macro economic approach.

We are trying to connect the micro economic development with the macro economy, revive rural production and connect it to national production level. We are concentrating more on the rural agricultural economy.

Lakthilaka said the Gramashakthi program complements the Samurdhi program. When it comes to Sri Lankan poverty, there are two groups.

One is the absolute poverty group, the other the relative poverty group. The former is catered to by the Samurdhi.

He explained, the basic foundation of this whole program is micro companies and they are registered under the Companies Act. ]

Every company should have 50 percent of its shareholders and they should be women. Likewise, there are certain values that we are adding other than economic aspect.

The President wants to develop an economic person as well as a social person at the same time.

We aim at a duty bound, wealthy person with the right conscience, and are trying to converge it through Gramashakthi.

At present , we are working with three villages in every Divisional Secretariat division.

We are also reviving Gami Diriya villages, and plan to implement the program in 1,000 villages this year. Next year we target another 1,000 villages.

However, depending on the progress of the program, we would explore the possibility of increasing this number. Our final target is to develop 15,000 villages by 2020.