A helpless couple living with six children in a wattle and daub hut on the top of a hill where there is no human habitation. This family lives in Ambuluwawa area in Gampola.
They have been used to living on the top of the hill opposite the gate which is the access route to the hill top; which is rich in bio-diversity in Ambuluwawa. The Gampola Urban Council had made arrangements to dump garbage on the top of this hill before 2016. Their small hut can be reached through the road that had been prepared for the removal of garbage.
However, with the passage of time, the dumping of garbage has come to a standstill with the occurrence of the landslide caused by the pilling of excessive garbage. But, this road has been swallowed by the jungle for about four years. When reaching the hilltop through this jungle road, this wattle and daub house, covered with polythene, can be seen. In spite of the fact that the three children in this family are in the school going age, they do not attend a government school. It is said that the politicians or the government officers who give pledges to alleviate poverty have not given this family ‘Samurdhi’ relief. Steps have not been also taken to provide the basic facilities to them.
Three children have been handed over to a church to pursue an education
The inmates of this house, Somasiri Chithrangani (30) is a Sinhala woman whereas her husband S. Mahendra Kumar, is a Tamil. As a result of their love affair, they had lived on an estate in Ambuluwawa area in Gampola by being the caretakers of an estate; which earned them their livelihoods.
However, they said, that they had come to this plot of land which belongs to the Government because the owner of the land wanted to sell the land where they lived. Although the Government officers have exerted influence on them to vacate the area, they said that they are compelled to remain.
Their elder child named Sanjeewa (13) , Pavithra (11) , Sanjeewa (9) and the other three male children who are at the age group of 1, 3 and 4 years seem to be suffering from malnutrition. The three children who are at the school- going age have been handed over to a church by the parents close to Gampola town to pursue an education.
Their mother said that, although the elder son should be in year 7, all children in this church are being taught in a common class for want of such classes.
Chithrangani said that her husband undertakes various work to earn a wage and these meagre earnings are hardly enough to satisfy the hunger of six children. There is neither bed nor table in this house and the children are used to sleeping on the floor applied with clay. It is saddening to think of the parents who make an attempt to protect their children on this land which is infested with reptiles and wild boar; there is a strong wind prevalent in this area and they are compelled to grin and bear the hardships during the rainy season. According to Chithrangani, they can be satisfied with the receipt of a house or plot of land which will serve in protecting the children.
This plot of land belongs to the Sinhapitiya North GS division in Gampola. Grama Niladharini K.A.D.K. Gajanayaka said, “ I came to this division very recently. But, I am in the process of making arrangements to solve the problems faced by this family. I have sought the advices from the Divisional Secretary in this regard. These children do not have birth certificates; the last child was delivered at home. Now, the names of 4 children have been included in their birth certificates,” she said.
She added that Parliamentarian Anuradha Jayaratna had promised to give a plot of land at the foot of Ambuluwawa hill. “Then, a house can be built there and given to them,” she said.
She added that Parliamentarian Anuradha Jayaratna had promised to give a plot of land
When inquired from the Divisional Secretary Thushari Tennakone in Udapalatha in Gampola in this regard, she said, “We came to know of this family. These parents are not married. Recently, we arranged to marry them at a mobile service in Gampola. We have spoken to the director of education regarding the schools for these children”.
She said further that this mobile service was organised by the Chairman of the Divisional Development Committee, Anuradha Lanka Jayaratna. He had discussed the problems experienced by this family. In the meantime, they had spoken about obtaining work as a labourer for Mahendra Kumar in the Ambuluwawa complex. They said that action would be taken in this regard in the near future.
However, if benefactors can give a helping hand to this helpless family, it will serve as a stepping stone for their future. They do not have a bank account for that purpose, but generous people can come and help them, which is the need of the hour. (courtesy Lankadeepa)