Oct 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka will implement a national program covering the entire island to alleviate poverty that has become a severe threat to country's economy especially to the rural economy.
The national program will be implemented through the Gramashakthi People's Movement, to provide sustainable solutions for the poverty faced by the country while understanding the challenges confront with the country's poverty.
The national ceremony of launching of the Gramashakthi People's Movement aimed at the elimination of poverty from the country, will be held tomorrow (Oct 20) at 2.00 p.m. at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium in Colombo under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena.
The Gramashakthi People's Movement, a brainchild of President Sirisena, is the flagship development program launched in line with the vision of the President for a Sustainable Sri Lanka with a robust economy free of all forms of poverty by the year 2030.
The Program will be implemented island-wide while giving priority for the districts where the population of low-income families are high. Initially 1,000 villages will be covered and by the year 2020 it will be expanded to 5,000 villages.
The year 2017 was declared as the Year of Poverty Eradication in order to empower the majority of the economically and socially disadvantaged people and to make a reality of true freedom and equality of Sri Lankan citizens.
Speaking on the program at a media briefing yesterday, President's Secretary Austin Fernando said initially 1,000 villages each will be economically uplifted every year targeting 5,000 villages in a five year period by the Gramashakthi People's Movement.
Under the first phase, at least two villages each will be selected from all 332 Divisional Secretariat divisions of the country. Besides, 300 villages, which have potential for entrepreneurship, will also be selected to represent the 1,000 villages of the first phase.
President's Additional and Sports Ministry Secretary Jayantha Wijerathna said that the people of the selected 1,000 villages will be granted Rs 250 million to meet their financial needs and Rs 25 million will also be offered to 25 young entrepreneurs.
"This program is jointly carried out by many stakeholders such as state sector, private sector, villager community, resource personnel, NGOs, voluntary organizations and civil movements. The main aim of the program is to strengthen and empower village community economically to stand on their feet," he added.
The objective of Grama Shakthi project is to create a fair society which provides similar opportunities for every community, following its community ruled rural development access.
This will focus on the livelihood requirements of completely and relatively poor families in Grama Niladhari Divisions, needs of women and unemployed youth, needs of those who affected by war in the North and the East, needs of those who should be empowered, needs of entrepreneurs and people who want to be entrepreneurs, opportunities to free the people from debt burden and the sustainability of the recognized livelihoods.
Gramashakthi is a national movement which is operated in line with the current programs for poverty alleviation. It also evaluates the current poverty alleviation programs. This is a combined program of state sector, private sector and the people.
During the ceremony to launch the Gramashakthi program, the "Thousand villages" programs related to the 2017 will also be symbolically implemented. Adding the updated Gami Diriya 2040 villages into Gramashakthi and declaring of the cooperation of the private sector, related to this national poverty alleviation program will also take place at this occasion.