Anran Yogarasa Sakayapuspam packs lime paste in Periyavilan, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The paste, a mixture of calcium oxide and water, is a household ingredient and is often combined with betel nut to produce a popular stimulant.
Dhanabalasingam Gunanathan, left, and Erampu Sivanesarasa extract fish from a net at Kakkaithivu, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Sivanesarasa says since the sea mother gives them great wealth, the coronavirus does not affect his business.
Mutthaiya Manimekalan, left, and Manimekalan Thayalan make organic compost in their yard in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. The government encouraged farmers to produce organic fertilizers during the time it banned chemical fertilizer imports.
Sellamuthu Selvakumar, left, and Nahenthiran Surenthar make compost in Adampan, Mannar district, Sri Lanka. The import of chemical fertilizers has been banned, so farmers hire help to make compost on their land.
John Mary Visuvasam burns coconut shells in a pit in Kayts, Jaffna district, Sri Lanka. Coconuts are used for cooking, but the shells are typically discarded, so Visuvasam collects and burns them to make charcoal to sell.
Mary Ann Yonmary pours hand-mashed palmyra pulp on a mat woven from palm leaves outside her house in Naranthanai South village, Sri Lanka. When the pulp dries, Yonmary will cut and sell the final product, which is called pinattu.
Rasenthiram Kabilan welds a door for the shop where he works in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. Kabilan, who used to commute to Colombo, now works locally because of the coronavirus pandemic. “It’s nice to be with family,” he says, “even though the salary is low.”
Varatharasan Dinarsan pours cow’s milk into a container in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. Due to a shortage of milk powder because of a change in import taxes, the demand for and price of cow’s milk have increased.
Ranjithraj Nishakaran advertises the magazine Siriththiran with a promotion team in Chavakachcheri, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. The magazine, which was relaunched in January 2021, was founded in 1963 and circulated for 32 years before its offices were burned down during the Sri Lankan Civil War.
Kunarasa Dilaxan combines cement and sand to make stones for building material in Cheddikulam, Vavuniya, Sri Lanka. Young workers like Dilaxon used to travel to other districts for work, but they now stay close to home as coronavirus cases rise.
Family members of the founders of the Periya Thambiran temple make dumplings, or modak, as an offering to commemorate the day the temple was built in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Many people usually attend the celebration, but this year, only family members were present due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Murugan Jeevaratnam hammers wood to make kitchen shelves in Inuvil, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Jeevaratnam, 73, has been working as a carpenter for 45 years and says now that he’s older, he earns his salary by doing easier work.
Manuvel Mahenthiran prepares a field to sow paddy in Adampan, Mannar district, Sri Lanka. Farmland is allocated once a year to members of farmers’ organizations registered with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Kanakalingam Govardhanan clears the grass around Karaikal Sivan Temple in Inuvil, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. As a service, Govardhanan, a bus driver, has cleaned the temple's perimeter every day since the government imposed a travel restriction during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kamardheen Sithysameena and Kaleel Ramshiya sow black grain seeds in Adampan, Mannar district, Sri Lanka. Black grain is a profitable option for farmers because Sri Lanka restricts imports of the crop.
Arumugam Tharumaraja makes small earthenware lamps in Thirunelvely, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Tharumaraja says exporting his pottery has been limited due to COVID-19, so he has started making lamps for a lights festival in November.