It is everybody’s dream to live in a house of his own. There are many who believe that realization of this dream rests with one’s own destiny. At a time when there are so many who spend their entire life to realize their dream of owning a house, an individual has stepped forward to donate a portion of the small land he had purchased through his meagre earnings.
Sometime back many were moved and in anguish in the aftermath of the severe landslide that occurred in Aranayake in the Samasara mountain. Many lives and belongings were buried under the mounds of earth that slide down the hill. The screams of those affected were heard all over, and the stories of those who lost their lives and dwellings had spread all over the country. The shocking disaster aroused the feelings of one individual who rose to the occasion and declared that he could help some of the destitute families in finding new homes. He is Edirisinghe Mudiyanselage Kapuru Banda a resident of Padeniya, Wariyapola.
The shocking disaster aroused the feelings of one individual who rose to the occasion and declared that he could help some of the destitute families in finding new homes
He was prepared to donate a land belonging to him to put up houses to accommodate the displaced persons of Aranayake. Accompanied by the Padeniya Rajamahaviharadhipathy Ven. Katumulle Sumanarathne Thera he met the Wariyapola Divisional Secretary and presented his idea, and as an initial step the proposed land was first vested with the State.
However, only one family from among the displaced families of Aranayaka was willing to reside in the land Kapuru Banda so willingly donated. Later a decision was taken to distribute the land among 14 families selected from Wariyapola at 15 perches each. The National Housing Authority agreed to provide them with a loan facility to construct the houses, but as the families were not earning a regular income the settlement of such loans was an issue. The difficulty in repaying such loans was pointed out by Kapuru Banda and several others and it was finally agreed to give Rs 500,000 each to the families to construct the houses.
Kapuru Banda the philanthropist lives in a remote area in Padeniya. He is an ideal personality depicting the true villager. He is the father of two daughters. The eldest is twenty three years of age, while the younger daughter is thirteen years old and a student. They are really village folk living a simple village life. Interviewing him and asking him about this noble gesture in donating a land for poor village families, revealed that they are ordinary village folk, believing in the value of sharing with those who are in need.
QWhat made you decide in making this donation?
We were sorting out Betel leaves that were plucked from our home plot, when we saw the tragedy on TV about the landslide in Aranayake. We witnessed the cries and suffering of all those poor families who were worse affected. Whenever a tragedy of this nature strikes it is the same story of collecting aid to help the families. I was terribly moved. The first thing that occurred to my mind was to give them some land of my own for them to put up houses to stay. I am now fifty seven years old and only few more years to live. I posed this matter first to my wife. She agreed with me. We always help others in need as far as possible. I gave them three acres and now I have two and half acres left and I think my two daughters would be content with that. This land was not inherited by me, but bought with my earnings and therefore I am very happy now.
QAre you happy with the progress made in this regard?
Yes, very much. Most of the work of the houses are over. There are issues connected with, provision of water, electricity and roads. I have spoken to the authorities regarding these but there appears to be slow progress.
QWhat sort of employment you are now engaged in?
I am a Mason and also attend to other jobs as well. I do painting of houses. What I earn is quite sufficient to live. I will be happy if my elder daughter gets employed. She is applying to obtain suitable employment.
QWhat are your future hopes?
I had a desire of performing a meritorious act. I donated this land to invoke blessings on my deceased parents. Now a small Udagama is coming up here. I wish to name it “Punchimenik” Village. My fathers name was Punchi Banda and mothers name Bandimenika.
Kapuru Bandas wife W. M. Sandhya Kumari when inquired about the husband’s gift towards poor families, she replied that on hearing about the suffering and the catastrophe that struck Aranayake they all agreed to donate this land.
Their eldest daughter Ireshika Dimuthu Kumari said that she had her initial education at Padeniya Sunanda Maha Vidyalaya and later entered Holy Family Girls College Kurunegala to do her A/L studies. She had done Languages as a subject for A/Levels. She said she wants to get employed in order to assist the family. She also confirmed that her father likes to help everyone who is in need of help.
Thirteen year old younger daughter of Kapuru Banda studies at Sunanda Madhya Maha Vidyalaya Padeniya.
A visit to the land where houses are now coming up, and meeting those who are preparing to occupy them was much thought provoking.
I am a Mason and also attend to other jobs as well. I do painting of houses. What I earn is quite sufficient to live. I will be happy if my elder daughter gets employed. She is applying to obtain suitable employment
S.M. Podimenike who was terribly moved with the gift of a land and house that their family is about to move in said she and her daughter had been sleeping in a wayside boutique exposed to the elements and after several visits to the Kurunegala Housing Department and meeting Kapuru Banda they are now getting a house of their own. She said that her family is ever grateful to Kapuru Banda for this magnanimous gesture. There several others who extended their heartfelt thanks to Kapuru Banda.
Now that Kapuru Banda has provided the land and also assisted in building the houses there are other needs such as water, electricity and roads for this housing complex to be called as another reawakening village.