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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2614

Sri Lanka: Welfare of estate workers given priority under corporate responsibility program

Sunil C. Perera - Reporting from Pusellawa, Sri Lanka

Colombo, 17 August, ( A number of privatized plantation companies together with the Plantation Human Development Trust [PHDT] are now moving to new direction to follow Corporate Responsibility Program [CSR].Two-storey housing complexTwo-storey housing complex

According to the Pussellawa and Kahawatta plantations, the estate management has taken very positive decision to setup Sri Lanka’s first elders’ home, a crematorium, a single housing scheme and two story-housing complexes as pilot projects.

Director General of PHDT, Col.Ranjith Ellegala said these companies came forward to assist their retired workers and present estate workers to provide better living condition.

The Kahawatte Plantation donated an isolated building to open Sri Lankas first Plantation based elders’ home in Craighead Estate, Udahentenna , Gampola with the view to provide shelter to retired estate workers, who do not have proper shelter from their families.

The Plantation Human Development Trust has allocated necessary funds to renovate the building and provide basic household items .The elders’ home is now ready to welcome 12 inmates and the Ministry of Social Services has agreed to provide further assistance to administer the home.Estate elders' homeEstate elders' home

We are working with the state and private sector agencies to provide better facilities for the estate workers, said an ex-planter, Mr.Ellegala.

According to Mr.Ellegala , the Kahawatta Plantation Ltd has introduced
various welfare projects to improve their workers welfare.

"Earlier pensioners of the estates had not received anything after their pension. They received only their coffin if they stayed in same plantation,” said the Director General.

The Pusellawa plantation and the PHDT constructed Sri Lankas first crematorium in Beaumont Estate, Pusellawa .The total cost of this project was Rs.2.4 million, he said.
The PHDT’s Director General said that Crematorium was built by the PHDT to serve area masses and the estate workers.

At present area masses and the estate workers use burial grounds to dispose their dead ones, said PHDT’s Director General.

Responding to queries, he said the PHDT plans to hand over the crematorium to the Udapalatha Pradeseeya Sabhaa to operate this unit.Estate housing complexEstate housing complex

However estate workers will receive a discount when they want to dispose their dead ones, he said.

According to the PHDT sources, the testing cremation works will be carried out shortly , after the handing over the crematorium .

Pussellawa is one of landless areas and the people said that they lack new lands to bury their dead ones.

Speaking to media, W.G.Siripala , a resident of the Pussellawa town said that crematorium would assist them for easy cremation rituals.

Mr.Thondaman Selambaram , ex-provincial councilor and a retired estate worker of Sanquhar estate, Pusellawa said that estate workers housed in a two story housing complex after the privatization of the estate.

We can live without any problem, he said.

The PHDT sources said the Pusellawa Plantation and the PHDT have jointly allocated nearly one million rupees to construct the two story-housing complex, using Fero Cement system.

The Helboda Estate, Ramboda also constructed a housing scheme with fifty houses .The PHDT has allocated five million rupees to complete the scheme.

"Now we do not have line rooms as earlier," said S.Chandramadi, an estate woman.

- Asian Tribune -

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