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Power cuts and high LPG prices cripple daily life of Sri Lankan families


Amid the economic crisis ravaging Sri Lanka, India Today reached out to a local Sri Lankan family to understand their plight on a day-to-day basis. As the team reached the residence of Udhaya Sushantha (39) and Dilini Wasana (33), there was a power cut, one which the government enforces for close to three-and-half-hours everyday.

The increase in price and shortage of LPG has led to people completely becoming dependent on power, but unscheduled power cuts have left families struggling to put food on the table.

Dilini, a government school teacher said, “Everyday chores have become a struggle.”

Dilini, who needs to travel 11 to 12 km to reach her school, says, “In the morning, I need to wake up by 3am or 4am and cook food for my child. And then, getting a taxi is a task. Because of the fuel shortage, no one wants to drive far. For a taxi also, I need to spend 1500 LKR(Lankan rupee) per day, and that is too high compared to my salary.”

Udhaya, who finished his post graduation in management, was running a construction company. But in January, the economic crisis and the increase in the prices of construction materials forced him to close his firm and join the tourism industry.

“The material cost of a bag of cement was 800 to 1000 LKR earlier, now it is more than 3000 LKR. Though the prices of the materials have gone high, people aren’t ready to pay higher prices for construction and that led to losses,” said Udhaya.

As Dilini prepares food for her two-year-old child, she hopes that the power will be back soon. But, she was in for disappointment when, even after her long wait, the power was not back.

“There is no power and we are not able to cook rice in the rice cooker. LPG gas is also very difficult to get. So, we have to save that as much as possible. I am not able to make rice for my child,” says Dilini.

Two-year-old Umara started crying as she began to get hungry. Sadly, with no power and no food cooked, Dilini has only a cup of yoghurt to feed her baby.



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