Social Services and Social Welfare Deputy Minister Lionel Premasiri has made arrangements to provide permanent homes for Vakarai`s gypsy community, Ministry sources said. The sources said the Deputy Minister took this decision following discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa and some members of the gypsy community living in Moratuwa.
During discussions, President Rajapaksa had pointed out that the term `under-privileged social classes` should be totally eradicated.
It has been decided to establish a special village for the gypsy community in Vakarai area and provide them vocational training.
The Minister also promised to provide identity cards for adults and medical camp for their children.
Premasiri handed them lanterns, dry rations and candles during an inspection tour to Moratuwa where some members of the gypsy community are living. According to members of the gypsy community they do not have identity cards and registration in the electoral registry.
Traditionally they change their location once in every week but due to the lack of space, they have to stay at one place for longer periods.
They now have to pay Rs. 400 per month for the land allocated for one shed which is unbearable.
They also stated that they need to change certain traditions like moving place to place to obtain school education for their children.