Gammedda100: New hopes for a “wild elephant-free” future for Pathalayagama villagers

Gammedda100: New hopes for a “wild elephant-free” future for Pathalayagama villagers

Written by Lahiru Fernando

02 Aug, 2016 | 9:08 pm

The only form of “animal attacks” we, the people living in urban areas face are from mosquitoes, the random flying cockroach and the occasional house lizard or frog (for those who are scared of them).

Unfortunately, there are many villagers in the country who face animal attacks on, you could say, on a much larger scale…

During the Gammedda Door-to-Door campaign earlier this year, we came across an old couple, two grandparents living in an almost completely destroyed clayhouse, being looked after and provided for by their 15 year-old grandson who is working for a small daily wage.

If you are beginning to wonder why, the little boy’s parents, the son and daughter-in-law of the two grandparents were killed by a wild elephant on one dark and unfortunate day.

Such is the life for many people, many Sri Lankans. Our own countrymen.

The Pathalayagama village in Kelaniyapura, Hambantota is one village of many across the country  which are constantly under wild elephant threats. These people go to sleep not knowing what they will have to wake up to the next morning. Or if they will wake up at all….

“If you make some porridge with a little rice for a person who is dying, that person might live a bit longer. But there is no point in getting down bags of rice and putting up banners after someone dies. That is not what should happen. Give some rice before we die. Sir, you have given us rice before we die and we are having porridge with that rice,” said a farmer in Pathalayagama.

Those are genuine words of gratitude from humble human beings who provide us with the rice that we consume…

What was the reason for this happiness?

13891822_1186663201393936_5882437986157393912_nAnother phase of the Gammedda 100-day initiative commenced on Tuesday August 2 at the Pathalayagama,  Kelaniyapura village, Hambantota. The first wooden post was erected for an elephant fence for the village of Pathalayagama today, giving people hope of a future without the fear of not knowing when their life would come to an end by a wandering wild elephant.

The construction of the elephant fence began with prominence being given to tradition.

The relevant government officials? This is what they said while attending the event…”As a department we are actually in the midst of many issues. But as per the request of News 1st, we have decided to render our complete support for this endeavor for your sake.” said Assistant Director of Wildlife – Southern Province, Prasanna Wimaladhasa.

“On behalf of the state officials and especially as the Divisional Secretary, I thank the Sirasa Media Network personally for identifying the grievances of the people and giving priority to the people.” said Hambantota Divisional Secretary, E.K.A. Sunitha.

13882092_1186670711393185_8224947056772957876_nGroup Director of The Capital Maharaja Organisation Limited, Chevaan Daniel spoke to the people at the event and requested them to get involved with the Gammedda Saviya Programme.

“Your life has already become a part our lives. We need a promise from you that you will get involved with the Gammedda Saviya Programme and with these little things, we will develop this country together. We would love to see everyone here live happy lives. We will dedicate ourselves to achieving that”, said Group Director,  Capital Maharaja Organization Limited, Chevaan Daniel

You too can join hands with News 1st to create a change by simply calling our number

011 4 896 896

and make a deposit to Nations Trust Bank account

0111 – 0000 – 2201.

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