Written by Staff Writer
11 Oct, 2021 | 10:04 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); The village of Pitamaruwa, is one of the hardest places to get to in Sri Lanka. Over 150 km’s from Colombo, it is nestled in a valley within the foreboding mountains of Badulla. In 1818, the people of this mountainous region rebelled against the British colonialists. They lost the battle, but two centuries later, The Battle of ‘Uva-Wellassa’ continues to inspire Sri Lankans to take pride in their independence.
That was 1818. But even in 2021, The people of ‘Pitamaruwa’ waged a daily battle of a different kind. But this time, they won.
The need for a rural bridge over a raging torrent of water was brought up to the attention of many local governments past and present. For decades, their plight went unanswered. Parents had no choice but to carry their children over raging waters even at the height of the flood-season to get them to school. Workers at Tea Plantations had to carry their produce across a rickety wooden bridge that was a death-trap at the best of times.
It was this unimaginable reality that the #Gammadda team came across in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, when they first visited the area. The problem was given airtime on News 1st and soon, a warm heart all the way from the US reached out. Ms. Puswella and her family, traced their origins to this same district: Badulla. They had grown up there. And they couldn’t turn away and watch their people struggle. They contacted #Gammadda, and work began.
That was last year. Within a few weeks, Sri Lanka went into multiple lockdowns. And then this year, just as some normalcy was creeping in, the nation experienced a third and then a fourth wave of the pandemic. Everything came to a standstill. But amidst the difficulties and challenges, the #Gammadda team worked within the little silos of opportunity to keep construction going.
Yesterday, the 10th of October 2021, Gammadda was able to hand over the bridge to the people of Pitamaruwa. In fact, the lives of the people of eight surrounding villages will be changed forever, because of this one project.
This one bridge has reignited hearts across Sri Lanka and the world. A sign of hope and the strength of unity, the people of Pitamaruwa are an example of the perseverance and resilience that makes up this nation. They have now set their minds on a road that would connect the bridge to a main route out of the village by working through the Gammadda Saviya Community Society they have created. There is little doubt these incredible villagers will achieve their goal.
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