Pix and story by M. Rishar M. Saleem
Ceylon Finance Today: Hayleys is renowned as a corporate, which gives back a considerable amount of their profit to the society and had been recognized as Sri Lanka's best corporate citizen in the years 2004, 2015, 2005, 2006 and 2010, as well as the best company in 2015.
Their latest initiative in this regard is the Hayleys Sath Diyawara project.
This project was an initiative jointly undertaken by Puritas (Private) Limited and its parent company Haycarb PLC in order to provide clean drinking water to families affected by CKD. Today the group has done so much more to uplift life in general for all these people.
The Hayleys Sath Diyawara project provides clean drinking water to Ananthapuram, as well as its adjoining villages Sivanagar and Iranapalai, by establishing a 10m3 Reverse Osmosis (RO) Water Treatment System and 16 docking stations around the villages.
Ananthapuram is a village in the North-Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. It is located approximately four kilometres north-east of the town of Puthukudiyiruppu. It's a village that was highly affected by the war and this initiative is a big step forward in providing the basic human need of pure hygienic water to its occupants.
One of the greatest difficulties these people were facing was the lack of access to clean drinking water. According to medical research 2% of village residents are suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
"Hayleys group is the first to sign the CEO's water mandate, a mutual understanding by the global business leaders to protect water" said Hayleys Group PLC Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mohan Pandithage speaking at the inauguration of the project.
"We decided that all the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives we carry out should be linked to water. We started Sath Diyawara Puritas as a result of this decision" he further said.
"When Puritas team emphasized the critical conditions of the area affected by CDK and the initiative to provide purified water for these people we gave all our attention to take this project to a national platform" he said.
The Hayleys Puritas Sath Diyawara project provides quality drinking water, livelihood development, knowledge dissemination and education, improved health and sanitation of the villagers and sustainable environmental management, and has managed to create a healthier, happier community by improving unity and harmony of villagers by encouraging team work, and livelihood creation. It is not limited to simply providing clean water.
"Puritas Sath Diyawara not only provides water but it also focuses on several activities such as establishing knowledge, conducting awareness sessions and so on. It is our pleasure to hand over the completed water treatment system and knowledge hub to the village. We are happy to invest more than Rs 22 million in order to provide purified water for 25,000 people across 16 villages. We hope all of you utilize the provided resources effectively and we look forward of seeing a healthy community with an enhance level of living" said Pandithage.
Hayleys also provided the children of the village a library, with access to the internet, along with school supplies in order to uplift their livelihood. These children had no access to proper educational material for many years. This initiative brings so much more than just clean drinking water to these people. The project in Ananthapuram has been sponsored by Haycarb PLC., and is the second RO plant sponsored by them. Prior to this, Pandithage visited Ananthapuram Mixed Tamil School to officially hand over a photocopy machine to the school.
This mixed school has classes from grade one to eleven with over 160 students in attendance. Prior to 2012 the students were accommodated in make shift classes at refugee camps in nearby villages.
Most of the students come from poverty stricken families, who were the victims of the bygone war which gripped the area for nearly 30 years.