Published on: April 8, 2024

Society Undergoing Conceptual Shift Regarding Individuals with Special Needs – State Minister for Social Empowerment Anupa Pasqual

The phrase “Kana Muttiya Bindeema and Andhayata Kiri Kaweema” has been updated to “Vasana Muttiya Bindeema and Sagayata Kiri Kaweema.” This alteration, announced in the context of New Year celebrations, is intended to foster a conceptual shift in society regarding differently abled individuals, stated Social Empowerment State Minister Anupa Pasqual.

The State Minister highlighted that all banks under the Samurdhi Program have coordinated to organize 1089 New Year celebrations across the country for the Sinhala and Hindu New Year.

State Minister Pasqual made these remarks during a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the President Media Centre (PMC) today (08).

Addressing the Media Personnel, the State Minister further said:

“Following the last quarter of this year, the economic shrinkage in our country has diminished, and we now possess the capacity to switch to a prosperous economy in 2024. A primary goal of our economic policy program was to address the issue of unaffordable living costs for consumers. However, compared to last year, people are actively engaging in their daily activities and celebrating the New Year in the usual manner this time.

Furthermore, for this Sinhala and Tamil New Year, all banks affiliated with the Samurdhi program have organized a total of 1089 celebrations across the country.

Special focus has been directed towards the differently-abled community, with efforts aimed at reforming societal attitudes. Traditionally, practices like “Kana Muttiya Bindeema and Andhayata Kiri Kaweema” have been rejected by the society, a sentiment shared by our ministry. Instead, organizers are encouraged to adopt the names “Vasana Muttiya Bindeema and Sagayata Kiri Kaweema” and this initiative aims to foster a shift in societal perceptions. Additionally, numerous special programs have been arranged for the differently-abled community during all festive occasions throughout the year.

Moreover, the tourism sector in the country experienced a complete halt during the previous season. However, as of now, a total of 635,784 tourists have visited the island this year, generating revenue of USD 1.025 billion.

All ministries have initiated community empowerment programs, with plans in place to establish village poultry production centres for 10,000 families. Notably, all preparations for the program’s launch in May have been completed, including provisions for loans and assistance. Additionally, arrangements have been made to distribute tea plants to 14,000 families to support tea cultivation endeavours.

In further developments, plans are underway to distribute complimentary tea plants to “Aswesuma” recipients. Meanwhile, for other families, concessional loans are being offered at a reduced interest rate of 12%, down from the previous 36%. Additionally, in collaboration with the “Kantha Liya Saviya” Program, subsidized loans at a 12% interest rate for various products will be introduced starting from May.”

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