Amala Balasubramaniam is 27 years old and lives in Chettypulam, Velanai in the District of Jaffna. She is married and has two children. Her husband fled to India in 1990 with his mother and sister. They lived in the Mandapam Refugee Camp in Tamil Nadu State for a number of years and returned to Sri Lanka in 2003 during the ceasefire agreement between the government and the L.T.T.E. Amala married Balamurugan in 2004 and the couple was blessed with a son. When hostilities resumed in 2006 she and her husband were forced to flee to India once again where they were again placed in the Mandapam Refugee Camp.
When the war ended they returned to Sri Lanka in February 2011 and resettled on Velanai Island near Jaffna. But they didn’t have a home and were living in a hut which belonged to relatives. Fortunately, her mother-in-law gave them a small plot of land on which they built a temporary hut. Her husband was an experienced fisherman but he didn’t have the proper equipment to fish. As a result, he works as a day labourer. Her mother-in-law makes mats from palmyra leaves. Sadly the income they make is still insufficient to cover all their living costs. And their children find it very difficult to study because the couple is afraid to use the kerosene lamp at night, for fear of starting a fire in their small house.
The OfERR Ceylon Jaffna Office came to the rescue of the family by providing a new home and a sewing machine with all the accessories. This has allowed Amala to sew items which she then sells to earn additional income for the family.”