By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
Mother’s Day is celebrated to honour mothers. It is celebrated on different days around the globe – May 13th this year in several countries.
Mothers receive gifts from their loved ones on this special day.
Sithy Umma and Fathima Saurami do not know anything about Mother’s Day.
They have made numerous sacrifices like any mother to make their children happy, and brighten the lives of their loved ones everyday.
They couldn’t continue their education since very early years of their lives, in order to look after their family. Sithy Umma stopped her education at the age of eleven. Fathima Saurami stopped going to school at the age of nine. And both of them had a dream, which never came true. They did not enjoy their childhood, playing and having fun, as they had to bear the family burden at a very young age. Their father died early, and the rest of the family depended on Sithy Umma and Fathima Saurami.
Both sisters have been making food – carriers for more than forty years.
The palm leave made food-carriers are used to serve food for auspicious occasions such as weddings. Each of them earn Rs.175/= for 50 food-carriers. It’s not enough, but they have no better choice. They are pleased to be independent than depending on their children during their old age.
Sithy Umma and her younger sister Fathima Saurami start braiding at dawn
Mathured coconut palm leaves are used to make food-carriers
“I could not continue my studies, as poverty prevailed in my family. I had to start working, when I was eleven year-old to take care of my family. I wanted to becaome a teacher” said Sithy Umma (57) OF Keththarama
“I wanted to become a nurse. But due to family burdens I had to stop schooling and help my elder sister in making food-carriers by coconut palm leaves” said fathima Saurami (47) of Keththarama
They work from dawn to dusk
Sithy Umma and Fathima Saurami have found a small place at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium to work as their houses are submerged
They have to fight with the time to make more to earn more
Sithy Umma with her grand daughter Sazna (10)
The customers provide the coconut palm leaves
Sithy Umma and Fathima Saurami say that, young girls do not want to learn the art of making palm leave food-carriers. But it is a very interesting craft
Palm leave made food-carriers are considered healthy
Plam leaves are braided together
Neighbourhood gathers to give comapny to Sithy Umma and Fathima Saurami
They have to cater the customers on time, whether the order is small or big
Rice and curry are served on this specail plam leave food-carriers