Ramanathan (50) is from Kandy, but owns and manages his own cut-piece textile shop located on Negombo Road. It is his main source of income to support his family who lives back in Kandy.
He used to visit them occasionally whenever he could catch a break. But ever since the COVID-19 curfew began, he has not been able to travel home and has been confined to his shop. It was during this time that he decided to start stitching masks and gloves using the material he had stored at the shop. His son too has been assisting him, and with the shop closed for sale, he thought this could generate an income for the both of them to survive on.
Ramanathan also felt that by selling these items at a reasonable price where there is a demand for it, he would be providing a service to the community. With permission obtained from the Police, he managed to set up his three-wheeler to sell his products to the public.
People travelling along the Negombo Road stop by to buy these masks and gloves from him. He also sells braided ropes which are used to hold down goods when transporting. According to Ramanathan even the little money he makes out of this, he is unable to send to his family due to his banking limitations. He has registered with the Police with the hopes that they will soon allow him to travel to see his family.
Photos and Story: Nazly Ahmed
Original Post by Roar LK