President Maithripala Sirisena says the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement, which implemented as a prime project of the government to free the people from poverty will be launched from next January with new energy and outlook.
At present, the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement is being implemented successfully across the country and the President said that this project must be launched in more comprehensive and efficient manner to build a citizen with dignity, who will be able to stand on his or her own feet as well as to provide more facilities for low-income families.
From January 23 to 30 will be declared as Grama Shakthi week and during that week, several programmes will be implemented to enhance the awareness of the public and to bring together the people.
He made these remarks addressing the Grama Shakthi People’s Movement’s action committee of the North Central Province, at the Anuradhapura Urban Council Auditorium, today (20).
Gramashakthi, which is a concept of President Sirisena, is one of the key initiatives implemented to eradicated poverty. Instead of being a programme that brought people and the state together in the attempt to eradicate poverty as in most programmes implemented hitherto, Gramashakthi People’s Movement brings together people, public and private sectors as essential stakeholders of poverty eradication efforts. The aim is to ensure that the produce of the people constantly gets a better price, and access new markets while bringing in new technology. The movement helps people to get organized into people’s companies in order for them to negotiate with large private sector organizations on equal terms.
At present there are over 1,000 villages under this project and it is expected to expand the number of villages to 4000 by the next year. So far over Rs. 1000 million has been released for the Grama Shakthi Samithi units and companies. The confidence placed on this project was evident through many prominent companies in the country entering agreements with Grama Shakthi Samithi.
During this meeting, the progress and the way the project is being implemented in the North Central Province was discussed in detail and it was also discussed the future plans of the project in this province.
Currently, the poverty rate of the Anuradhapura district is 3.8% and while it is 2.2% in Polonnaruwa district. President Sirisena advised the officials to create new plans to deliver more benefits to the people live below the poverty line.
The Gramashakthi Organizations in North Central Province and private organizations have singed 4 Memorandums of Understandings. That is regarding buying the productions of Gramashakthi People’s movement.
Apart from that, the President participated in several activities in the Central Kandy region. He donated Rs.2 million to the Divisional Secretariat of Viharaganviya Divisional Secretariat to buy a Yoghurt Sealer machine and provided Rs.1 million to the Kebithigollawa people’s organization.
The President also handed over Rs 66 million and Rs 21 million to District Secretaries in Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa respectively for the distribution to people’s organizations of Gramashakthi people’s movement.
Minister P. Harrison, former ministers S.M. Chandrasena, Weerakumara Dissanayake, Governor of Northern province Reginald Coorey, public representatives, and district secretaries of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts and other government officials were present in this event.
Then the President engaged in an observational visit to Anuradhapura, Palugaswewa Asirigama village where Gramashakthi People’s Movement is quite active.
The people welcomed the President warmly where the President was inquiring about the conducting of the Gramashakthi project in areas where low income families live and areas with least facilities.
Then the President engaged in meeting the representatives of Gramashakthi movement and the public at the Asirigama Isipathnarama Vihara.
The people made the President aware of certain fundamental issues including the problems of drinking water, the issue of wild elephants, housing problems, sanitary problems and land issues. The President instructed the officials to provide immediate solutions for these problem and said that Rs.25 million will be allocated within the next week for the first phase for solving these issues.
The President was informed on certain deficiencies that prevail within schools by the college Principals and the President promised to find solutions to them. He instructed the officials to obtain the assistance of the Tri forces for reconstruction of buildings and roads.