Business helps to develop Halpola School
February 10 was a Red Letter Day for the Daily News Business Desk and
the Halpola Vidayalaya, Pundaluoya.
The staff of the Halpola Vidyalaya Pundoluoya, other
invitees and Daily News Business desk staff are being
conducted to the venue
For the Daily News Business Desk it was history in the making as this
CSR initiative was the first time a small team from a business section
of any newspaper launched a project of this magnitude.
For the students of Halpola Vidyalaya, it was the first time that
some of them saw a computer or took a telephone call as most its
students are underprivileged.
The medical officer invited by the Business Desk examining a
patient at the medical camp
It was also moving to hear that some students wore their
grandmother's or mother's rubber slippers to come to school to be more
presentable to the 'Kolamba Nona Mahaththuru.'
The CDN Business CSR initiative also included a health camp conducted
by a former Air Force Doctor, Dr. Jagath Renuka Piyadasa, who had come
to Sri Lanka for a holiday from Oman where he is working.
The Camp was exclusively planned for the students and teachers.
However, the doctor had to extend it by a further four hours as almost
all the people of the village wanted to be examined by the 'Doctor from
The 'Daily News Business Desk' was moved, seeing the needs and wants
of these children as we always see how much is spent on the leisure of
students in Colombo and suburbs and the wanton waste incurred by them.
Teacher in charge of the information technology, Dhamiika
Ulpathegedara, out lining the basic operation of a computer
The Daily News Business Desk staffers were met at the entrance to the
school by an oriental band borrowed from another school nearby, and
escorted to the school by the Principal R. B. Madakumbura, staff
members, students and their parents.
Pharmacists busy issuing medicine for the eagerly waiting
After the flag hoisting ceremony at which the National Flag was
raised by the Business Editor, Daily News, Shirajiv Sirimane, the School
Flag by the Principal and the Buddhist Flag by the representative of
Dialog CDMA Tharanga Kularatne, the newly equipped computer laboratory
The Principal of the school said, "Today is a historic day for the
Halpola Vidyalaya as these persons who are able to spend their weekend
holidays partying at some hotel have come to provide assistance to the
school. Being located in a very remote and difficult location, schools
such as Halpola Vidyalaya have escaped the attention of the authorities
and philanthropists alike."
Senior Associate Editor Sunday Observer Pramod De Silva
inaugurating the activities
The Principal praised the Daily News Business Desk, Lake House and
the sponsors for helping the school lavishly. Zonal Director Planning
and Information Technology Priyantha Karunarathne, a former principal of
the school K, Rajapaksha and Accounts and Administration Assistant of
Lanka/Guyapi Lanka M. B. Karunasinghe addressed the students, parents
and the staff. Major Ramanie Kangaraarachchi spoke on behalf of the
Daily News Business Desk.
L. David Silva spoke on behalf of the parents, Chandana Sri
Mahapatuna on behalf of the staff. One parent in tears (of sorrow or
happiness) said that a new sun has risen over Halpola Vidyalaya on this
day. "Now our children are assured of getting a good education, and
their future, unlike ours, will be more prosperous and secure," he said.
Talking to the teachers, we found that over two-thirds of the students
had not even seen a computer in their lives. "I had to show them the
picture of a computer to give an idea of what they are learning about.
But, thanks to the bounty of your sponsors and you, they are able to see
and touch an actual computer," she said.
Business Editor, Shirajiv Sirimane cutting the ribbon
opening the new computer lab
The main sponsors of the project were Virtusa Corporation with the
computers, Dialog CDMA and internet connection, Unilever Limited with a
gift pack each for students, CIC Agri Business with paint to colourwash
the school, Hemas Pharmaceuticals comprehensive medicine for the health
camp and Jetwing Hotels to provide accomodation for the VIPs.
Dialog Telekom representative, Tharanga Kularatne,
presenting the CDMA phone to the Principal for the use of
Sala Enterprises provided the software and the other technical
know-how, Kelani Cables Limited, Bank of Ceylon, Hatton National Bank
and Ceylon Pencil Company presented gifts to the teachers and students,
Chairman CeyNor, Rohan Jayasinghe, and General Manager, Sri Lanka and
the Maldives, Thai Airways, Weerawat Swasdibutra provided computer
Eco Lanka Holiday Villa, an associate company of Guyapi Lanka
provided accommodation for the Daily News Business Desk.
The Daily News Business Desk also records with gratitude the
contribution made by a well-wisher.
Appeal to help underprivileged school
Halpola Vidyalaya, Pundalioya, an underprivileged school in
Nawalapitiya with 147 students, does not have a band or sports
A student, Maureen Trilicia addressing the audience
The talented boys and girls, most of whom are future Susanthikas or
Sugath Tilakaratnes are biding their time till some one unearths their
potential. There are qualified physical training instructors who wish to
assist this school.
However, there is no playground and most importantly no sports
equipment to surge ahead. When the Daily News Business Desk visited the
school to provide computers and other school equipment as part of their
CSR initiative on Saturday, they had to seek the assistance of a school
nearby to escort the visitors to the school. During the presentation
ceremony, a student of Halpola Vidyalaya Maureen Rajapaksha made a very
moving request, calling upon the business community to provide them with
equipment for a school band and sports gear.
Taking a cue from the request the Daily News Business now turn to the
corporate community to assist this school as done by other well-wishers.
The equipment for the band will cost around Rs.60 000 while the netball
and volleyball equipment and a high jump cross bar would also cost a
further Rs. 30, 000. The school will build a high jump pit. We appeal to
the corporate sector to assist in this worthy endeavour. Please mail
your ideas to