Despite In Sri Lanka the social indicators such as life expectancy, literacy rate etc nearly on par with those with developed nations , the continues growing of rural poverty is a serious problem for the national development of the country. Sri Lanka has been experiencing moderate growth in its GDP averaging 5.5% per annum between 2006 and 2009. Due to its relatively low GDP per capita currently Sri Lanka ranked in the bottom one third of the world. This could be due to the issue of poverty, specifically, rural poverty. Nearly 90% of the poor live in rural areas, with over 80% of Sri Lanka’s population still living in rural areas. Further more According to the World Bank, 42% of Sri Lanka’s population live on under US$2 a day in 2005 compared with 6% living under US$1 a day. This is evidence that in Sri Lanka poverty still remains widespread and continues to be a challenging problem of the country.
This highlights a link between isolation from social and economic infrastructure, cities and markets, as well as unorganized nature of the poor, their missing political participation and low education standards in rural areas.
Nagenahiru Strategy on Poverty Reduction
Nagenahiru strategy to reduce rural poverty is mainly based to address the issues on Inequity and power imbalances, adverse employment conditions and the lack of economic opportunities or control over assets of rural poor which are all manifestations of peoples’ disempowerment and contribute to their poverty through strong participatory approach.
Status of underprivileged Women in the society
Rural Women in Sri Lanka are particularly disadvantaged, both within the household economy and in the wider labour market. Prevailing gender roles within households mean that women undertake the bulk of unpaid care work in the household, such as minding and educating children, looking after older family members, caring for the sick, cooking and collecting water and fuel. As a consequence women have less time available for engaging in productive activities, that could provide income opportunities, or in paid employment
Early childhood development in villages
Early childhood development processes in villages are very poor. Most pre-schools are little more than play groups and even as such many fail to provide adequately in educational, physical and social spheres. The majority of these pre schools in rural areas are privately run for profit, very few schools under control of local government or NGOs fare no better. This might be seen as a total condemnation of the approach to Early Childhood Education in rural areas Sri Lanka.
Nagenahiru activities to reduce poverty
During past Nagenahiru implemented several innovative programs aimed primarily at educating and empowering rural poor and helping them to improve their quality of life.