RCPTA – Donation of a water purification plant to Ranmuduwewa Junior School, Sooriyawewa in the Hambantota District

Ranmuduwewa Junior School is situated close to the bund of the Ranmuduwewa tank in Sooriyawewa. Many attempts have been made by the school authorities to provide pure drinking water to the children of this school which is situated in a dry zone. Pipe borne water from this tank have been used to provide drinking water to the 350 students and staff. During dry season water recedes making it difficult to meet the demand and the concentration of chemicals in the water goes way above the permitted level and it is also contaminated with animal excreta making it highly unsuitable for drinking purposes.

The RCPTA was informed about the pathetic situation by an Old Royalist Mr.Lakshitha De Soysa who is the Co-Founder and CEO of Natures Glory Export Company mainly dealing with fresh fruits in the area.

The RCPTA committee decided to help the school by providing a water purification plant. ABC Trade and Investments (Pvt.) Ltd. estimated the cost of the plant to be Rs. 290,000/=.It consists of a main filter and three other filters. Annual cost of maintaining the main filter is Rs. 16,000/= and Rs. 4500/= each for the other three filters every three months.

Members and well-wishers of the RCPTA were duly informed and in no time generous donations from members and well-wishers continued to flow in and the necessary funds were collected. Special mention should be made of the ’87 group of Old Royalists for their contribution of Rs. 50,000/=.

The subcommittee appointed for the project headed by Mrs. Patricia Paranamana made several visits to the school for an overview of the situation. A separate room in the school was allocated to house the plant. We are grateful to Lakshitha for doing the necessary repairs to the room before the company installed the water purification plant. A plaque with courtesy from Mr. Jinawara Dharmawardana was fixed at the entrance to the room.

On the 2nd November 2016, 45 members and well-wishers of RCPTA arrived at Ranmuduwewa Junior School around 11.00am. A warm welcome was accorded to the visitors by the children of the school and ushered them to the venue with the school band in attendance. The national flag and the two school flags were hoisted by former Principal Mr. B.Suriarachchi, the Principal of the school Mr. S.L.Somaratne, and Capt. Dharmararne President of RCPTA.

Plaque was unveiled by the Project coordinator Mrs. Patricia Paranamana and the project was inaugurated by her. The first glasses of pure drinking water were offered to the students by the President Capt. Dharmaratne , the general secretary Mrs. Ramya Dharmawardana and Mr. Ranjith Senanayake.

The ceremony was followed by the presentation of valuable gifts and refreshments to each and every student including the teachers. We are thankful to Perera & Sons for the cakes provided, and the donors of milk packets, chocolates and cups of Yogurt.

Special prizes were offered to the students who secured first places at the second term end examination at a special assembly by Mr. R.N.Edussuriya and former Principal Mr. S.H. Kumarasinghe. The official documents of the project was handed over to the Principal of the school Mr. Somaratne by our former President Mrs. S.N. Ameresekere. Several items of song and dance were performed by the students. One particular item in the form of a short skit touched the hearts of the visitors where they showed how grateful they were to us for coming forward to help in preventing them being saddled with kidney deceases.

Principal of the school detailed background for the necessity for a project of this nature. Discolored teeth of students indicated what the future would be like he said. He was awed to find how even after retirement the members of the RCPTA still engaged themselves in projects like this. He thanked Mr. Lakshitha De Soysa for his involvement in the project. He said though there were many who promised to give pure drinking water to the school this was the only instance that promise became a reality. He said the humble parents of the school did their best to help the school. The Zonal Education Office was represented by Sinhala and English Instructors. The RCPTA President Capt. Dharmaratne speaking said he was familiar with the area as he has worked at the Kuda Oya Army Camp in 1980’s. He broke into prose and recited the value of the project and thanked all those who were associated with the project.

Mr. Ranjith Senanayake briefed those present about the RCPTA. The 250 to 275 members who are 15 to 20 years in retirement are engaged in another social service project involving Royal College itself .He gave the details about the hostel scholarship program. But this project is where we had no connection with Royal College. We were fortunate enough to be introduced to this school by Lakshitha and Mrs. Paranamana and the committee had the courage to embark on this project which we see success today. He said that he hoped one day a grade six student from this school would gain entrance to Royal College from the scholarship examination. In such an event we would be able to offer financial assistance to such a student as we are engaged in doing now. He also thanked Mr. & Mrs. Paranamana, Mr. & Mrs. Jinawara Dharmaawardana, the CEO of ABC Trade and Investments Mr. Kasun Ratnayake for all the assistance given.

Former Principal of Royal College Mr. B.Suriarachchi when addressing those present made it known to the students and parents about Royal College. He gave the statistics of the school which included the student and teacher strength, facilities offered, the extent of the school. He advised the parents as they do not have access to the water facility offered to the school, to collect water in pots and add washed charcoal to purify as it was done in olden days. He also advised them to give up betel chewing and smoking cigarettes.

The secretary to the school development society Jagath, the Sinhala instructor of the Zonal Education Office also spoke. Vote of thanks was given by a master of the school Mr. Prasanna who was coordinating with Mr. H.M.Dayaratne to make this event a great success.

Our thanks go out to all the donors who helped financially and those who provided items for gifts to the students. We thank Mr. Premasiri of Sarasavi Book Shop for giving a discount for the books we purchased for the school library and also a free donation of books to the library.

Finally a big thank you to all our members who rallied round to make this event a big success.