NDB recently hosted a workshop on food safety for the women engaged in the street food business along Gall Face Green.
The programme coincided with the commemoration of ‘International Women’s Day’ and was held as a tribute for the determined women that play a lead role in the street-food vending trade in one of Colombo’s busiest public sites.
The workshop was attended by over 150 women engaged in the trade and was preceded by the senior management of NDB along with the Senior Public Health Inspector of Colombo and a member of the Sri Lanka Food Processors’ Association. The programme was received with much enthusiasm by the participants who were actively engaged in the interactive sessions.
The objective of the workshop was to educate the attendees on the significance of food safety and share tips on how to be a better street vendor- in order to grow business potential. The programme was also aimed at improving the financial literacy of the participants as a part of NDB’s continued efforts towards realising its philosophy on financial inclusion.
Making the opening remarks at the forum, Assistant Vice President of Network Management and SME/Micro Credit, Delrene Seneviratne explained the significance of financial literacy and how this could help the participants to maximise their cash flows. She also emphasised on the importance of maintaining acceptable standards of quality and safety of food, to be able to grow and sustain businesses in the long term.
Colombo district’s Senior Public Health Inspector conducted an interactive awareness building session on food safety related laws; pointing out the positive and negative consequences of maintaining cleanliness in preparing and storing foods that are sold to the public.
Shalika Kaluarachchige, Micro Finance Officer of NDB educated the audience on the benefits of saving and prudent financial management; drawing attention to the importance of banking with legitimate financial institutions and inculcating the habit of saving in order to gain better financial freedom.
Supun Jayasinghe, a representative of the Food Processors’ Association of Sri Lanka also contributed to the programme as a resource person, making an insightful presentation on the technical approaches for ensuring food safety and cleanliness while sharing industry best practices.
The programme was held as part of NDB’s continued efforts for livelihood development and financial inclusion. Promoting the national cause of livelihood development at grass root level through sustainable financial inclusion has always been a focal area for NDB. The Bank has pioneered many initiatives in this regard truly fulfilling its commitment towards this worthy national cause.
In continuance of its objectives for financial inclusion, the revolutionary loan scheme titled ‘DiviAruna’ (awakening of lives) was commenced in 2010; aimed at developing livelihood for prospective entrepreneurs not within the mainstream of banking. The philosophy for introducing this scheme underlies the thinking that; in the envisaged economic resurgence of Sri Lanka, marginalized individuals may lose out if not given a helping hand at inception.