Interviews on the Economy:
Half My Income Goes On Education
S. Thirulinganatham, 53, is a bus driver from Sandilippai, northern Sri Lanka.
Thirulinganatham has three children and works a bus driver for a private firm. He says his family can barely make ends meet and they can certainly never go away on long trips or holidays.
How much do you earn a month?
LKR1,200 (about EUR7.30) a day, working about 15 days every month.
And where does your money go?
Mainly on food and on my children’s education. Actually managing to pay for all this on my income is very difficult but I have no other choice.
So you don’t earn enough money for this?
No! We learn to live with scarcity.
So how much do you spend on the children’s education?
About half of what I earn.
And what do you do about the gap between your income and your expenditure? And do you manage to save anything?
There isn’t really any additional income but relatives living abroad support us financially. And I can never save. I just don’t earn enough money. At one stage I borrowed money to buy a car but I ended up selling it to pay the loan back.
Do you have any hopes of improving this situation in the future?
Actually my biggest hopes are just for my children, that they succeed in their education.