Alternative income avenues for Lankan maids
Ample self employment opportunities :
The Western Province Health, Indigenous Medicine, Social Welfare and
Council Affairs Ministry will direct women seeking foreign employment as
domestic servants towards alternative income, said Western Province
Social Service Department Director Anusha Gokula Fernando.
She said that self-employment opportunities such as selling beverages
made of herbal plants have proved to attract a good market these days.
“A monthly income of about Rs 15,000 could be reached through this
kind of self-employment. Most women go to the Middle East as domestic
workers for a salary of between Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000. These women have
ample self employment opportunities to gain a sufficient income within
the country. What is needed is correct guidance,” she said.
Fernando said the attention has also been paid to select one family
from one village to engage in one kind of self-employment enabling a
good market for that item to be created.
“The major problem with regard to self-employment is that the whole
village starts doing the same production once there is a good market for
it. An excess of products that leads to a market failure emerges as a
result,” she said.
A number of social problems have reported due to the collapse of
family units as a result of mothers leaving the country for foreign
employment. Most of these cases could be prevented if this program was
carried on successfully, Fernando added. She noted that a proposal to
increase the lower income earners boundary line to Rs 6,000 was
presented by the Ministry.