Sivalingam Karunakirinathan started his home industry in 2012 in Mungil Aru South, Udayar Kattu in Mullaitivu. His village was badly affected by the war and Sivalingam and his family faced untold hardships like the hundreds of others who were caught in the middle of the war. He lost his leg and since then has depended upon a prosthetic limb to get about. Sivalingam finds it very difficult to transport his curd to the market but his determination has brought him so far and he is not ready to back down.
“When we were resettled to our village, I used to transport the curd to the market on my bicycle. With a grant from the government, I was able to lease a motorcycle” explained Sivalingam. The simple home industry that started in making curd on a small-scale curd has now developed into Vaikarai Industry. Today, Sivalingam manufactures ghee, vadagam (a neem and banana-based seasoning), flour from a herbal plant, butter chillies, lime pickle and fried snacks. Sivalingam has constructed a small manufacturing room in his garden for his food processing purposes.
With the help of the grant received from the ADT, Sivalingam was able to further build on his small-scale industry. “I was able to purchase 400 kilogrammes of lime for pickling and to wire this room for electricity” said Sivalingam, explaining that with the help of electricity he will be able to use machinery in processing and packing his products. Without electricity, Sivalingam found it very difficult to seal the packets and even use the machine to dry the chillies. He was also confined to working during the day or had to struggle at night in the candlelight to finish an urgent order.
Since his humble beginnings in 2012, Sivalingam has come a long way. “Those who come from overseas buy my pickle and butter chillies by the kilogramme” he said. “I sell 150 bottles of pickle every week and around 200 cups of curd during the festive season. I earn around 70,000 rupees with a profit of around 30,000.” Sivalingam who is renowned for his curd, hopes to register his curd with the local authority in Anuradhapura so that he can market it on a larger scale. “I am thankful to the ADT for their help” he expressed. “It is because of this help that I was able to buy some essential ingredients and finish the wiring for this room.”