Mr. Ganeshamoorthy is a young volunteer with an important goal: helping his fellow community members from Osborne Estate to access and protect their basic identification documents.
In Sri Lanka’s plantation communities, lacking the proper identification documents, such as a birth certificate, can be a serious obstacle to accessing important services. Mr. Ganeshamoorthy is one of several volunteers from Osborne who help estate residents acquire their documents. He received training by WUSC in May 2010 to strengthen citizens’ rights on Sri Lankan plantations.
Mr. Ganeshamoorthy says the training has made his task easier. “I tried obtaining birth certificates for the community members when I first joined as a volunteer, but had a great deal of difficulty since I did not know how to obtain them,” he says. “The training by WUSC enhanced my understanding of the forms to be used, supporting documents and the procedure. Now I have succeeded in my endeavours and have obtained 12 original birth certificates for my people from Osborne.”
Without his efforts, many community members would be unable to access several government services. One estate resident, Ms. Janaki, remembers how she used to be afraid to travel without identity documents, especially when she had to pass by security checkpoints. Now that she has a copy of her birth certificate, she can apply for a national identity card.
“Assisting my community is a great achievement for me,” concludes Mr. Ganeshamoorthy. “I am very thankful to WUSC for supporting us continuously by providing the knowledge and skills, having linked us to the service providers, and helping the community to safeguard documents by providing the family document folders.”
Learn more about WUSC's Plantation Communities Project.