We live in Kandolaya Estate, a marginalized region located in Kekalai district of Sabragamuva province but close to the borders of Central province. The people live here did not have any basic amenities. The only estate belonging to JDEB functions just three days per week, as it runs into heavy loss. Therefore, people are forced to work as daily wage labourers in the small tea estates.
Kandolaya Tamil vidyalaya is located and functions in this region with such background. And we are first batch of students appeared in the GCE O/L exams conducted in 2013.
We, a group of eleven students, formed a group called ‘Vidiyal’ after our exams in 2013. While we go to computer classes on Monday and English classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, we also assist other students of our school in their learning in other days. We also involve in reading books on literatures, political and world affairs, watch world cinema and enrich our knowledge on higher education.
As there was no institutions/colleges offering GCE A/L courses in Sabragamuva province, we 7 students need to leave for other districts such as Central province for our GCE A/L course. In such conditions, we have to stay in hostels and the overall expense would go paying Rs. 8000 per student per month for including college, hostel and other expenses.
As all our parents are tea-estate labourers, they are not in a position to support our education paying college and hostel fees. Moreover, five among us lost their father and hence their families depend on the incomes of their mother. This is also same for two other students as one of their parents suffer from severe illness and are not able to work. Therefore, we cannot even think asking our parents supporting our higher education.
We live in a situation; if we did not continue our education, we will end up doing household works at homes without any knowledge of what is happening outside like our parents or as a labourer in the garment industries or as servants in the houses of landlords or businessmen.
This situation makes us worried and puts under fear that we would not be able to pursue our education and end up living as daily wage labourers like our parents. As we are filled with dreams of furthering our education not just for GCE A/L courses but also university level courses and further if possible and being aware of the importance of education to transform the marginalized societies such as ours, we seek the support of uthawi friends.
We will study well and score higher marks to get into universities which will enhance our knowledge and enrich our skills shaping our personality. We also determined to work not only among our region but also other marginalized regions like ours, after higher studies.
As we do not have options for financial support, all of us seek your support for our higher education and the development of our region in the future.
Thank you very much,
Vidiyal 2013 Students
In the early morning,
When I opened the window,
Blood was running like flood.
But, what I wanted to see was
the dawn’s sun.
When I opened the door,
I saw dead bodies.
But what I wanted to see was,
the beautiful flowers.
“What is happening?”
I asked the others.
“War” answer came.
I couldn’t go out.
( Yogaswami Home / Class 9)
One day our teacher informed us that some other school teachers will come and conduct education related program in Television. All of us were so excited. After some time, the teachers came and screened a film for us. We all watched the film very quietly. The film is much better than we imagined.
The film is about two school-going children: brother and sister. The girl does the domestic works while the boy assists his father. Both share and use only one pair of shoe. It worries me when I think how they live in such a pathetic situation and struggle to study. Despite trying all possible means, they could not able to buy another pair of shoes. In Tamil cinema, the hero always wins but this film describes only failures.
It is better to see this kind of films than watching Tamil cinema. This kind of films is best to watch for students. They could bring changes among us. The film teaches us the thirst to study despite whatsoever problems we face, how much times we fail. We have to study well and progress in life.
(Batticaloa / Sri Lanka)
Those children’s family is struggles a lot to meet the basic needs of everyday life. The girl goes to the school after assisting in the domestic works of the family. Likewise, the boy goes with his father to the neighbouring town for earning during holidays. Both of them, brother and sister, have only one pair of shoes and they use it alternatively while going to school. Because of this, the boy reaches late in school every day. In such a situation, the boy comes to know about a running race which offers a pair of shoes as one of the prizes. He participates in the race in spite of all the hurdles and wins the first prize. He is offered a gold medal and a certificate but not the pair of shoes he intended to receive. Adding to his worries, the only pair of shoes they had also got torn because of his participation in the race.
It is very painful to imagine such a situation. When I was watching the film, something disturbed me. The boy’s expectation got failed. If they could have had that pair of shoes, they could have continued their education at the school. Their thirst for studying in spite of all the problems is felt while watching the film. I too realise the importance of studying whatsoever problems I face.
I am clear that whatever conditions I am trapped with, I will not lose my self confidence in those critical situations. And I am also clear that I will also achieve my ambitions facing all kinds of challenges.
– C. Yoga
(Batticaloa / Sri Lanka)