Paddy Project in Parangiya Wadiya at Horowpatana area

This page describes a project which the Helabima organization carried out in year 2001 to assist the farmers in a village called Parangiya Wadiya at Horowpatana area. The project consists of supporting a paddy mill and its storage facility by providing the monetary funds as well as to purchase the paddy regularly from the farmers in the area for a fair amount compare to the black market. This action had positively impact the farmers in the area and the employers in the paddy processing centre called as “Upul Kantha Grama Sanwardana Samithiya” (UKGSS).

This page describes a project which the Helabima organization carried out in year 2001 to assist the farmers in a village called Parangiya Wadiya at Horowpatana area. The project consists of supporting a paddy mill and its storage facility by providing the monetary funds as well as to purchase the paddy regularly from the farmers in the area for a fair amount compare to the black market. This action had positively impact the farmers in the area and the employers in the paddy processing centre called as “Upul Kantha Grama Sanwardana Samithiya” (UKGSS).

Overview of the project

Sri Lanka has a long recorded history of over 20 centuries. The ancient Sinhalese civilization which was agriculture based had left many outstanding works of irrigation and many Buddhist archaeological monuments. Horowpatana belongs to a prominent place which helps the country by its farming capability for centuries. It is our view in Helabima organization that the future prosperity of Sri Lanka will be secured only if all its citizens think and act to save those areas by supporting the farming communities.

Having the similar vision in mind, the Director in Thawalama organization in Sri Lanka, Colonel Anil Amarasekare had requested Helabima organization to support this project.

Ii is a fact that the wealthy merchants who acted as middle men used to buy the paddy harvest at very low cost hence the farmers were always poor at the end of any harvesting season. The particular society formed by the ladies has been targeted to enhance the living standards of the farming families.

They were even able to win a paddy mill as a gift from the Paddy development board due to the very efficient work in paddy processing as well as storing the paddy. 

However, they were handicapped due to the lack of enough funds and they had requested Thawalama organization in Sri Lanka for the additional funds. Thawalama had released some money as a loan previously and the UKGSS duly paid it with the agreed interest on time. Having the experience of work with them and also knowing the credibility of this society, Colonel Anil Amarasekare and Helabima organization came with following plan to help the UKGSS.

   

No of permanent women as the members of the society are 120.

No of working people in the paddy mill required per a day are 5 people.

All the people should work according to a roster through out the year.

I t has been mutually agreed that one person should work for 5 times per a year.

The profit will be shared on monthly basis.

The labor charges of 300 Rs per day been paid per each person. Therefore, one member would entitle to have 1500 Rs per a year worked for 5 days. The profit will be also paid additionally.

20,000 Rs per month calculated as the net profit at lowest studying the previous sales records.

20,000 / 120 = 250 Rs per month would be the profit per one person.

Therefore one person will get yearly amount, 250 X 12 + 1500 per a person = 4500 Rs.

This is excluding the money paid for any additional work by the members in the paddy mill and storage facilities hence total income for a one person roughly would be 6000 Rs.

According to the plan, Helabima organization had granted a loan of 2, 50,000 Rs (Approximately 2,500 USD) on the agreement of repayment as 10,000 Rs per a month. The repayment would be transferred to maintaining and supporting underdeveloped pre-schools via some of the members who are already pre-school teachers.

The fund had been efficiently utilized and the society was even able to repay the loan installments by 20,000 Rs which originally agreed as 10,000 Rs. The money which paid back to Helabima organization utilized to enhance the states of pre-schools in the area.

The society was eventually able to increase the turn over, the overall profits as well as increase the capacity of paddy storage.

This picture shows the new collection of paddy storage after making the plan successful.

With the kick start given by the Helabima organization, the Upul Kantha society had forwarded a business plan as follows in order to attract the third party business partners.

  • To have an industrial packing machine for rice packets.
  • To buy the harvest (paddy) approx 10, 00, 000 Rs. worth paddy annually.
  • To have a stock of fertile and chemicals for paddy to brake monopoly of wealthy merchants in the area and save Sinhala farmer.
  • To buy an extra boiler for paddy process.
  • To have a separate place and a building for the business.

All above plans except the last one they could achieve with in 2 years if 20,00000 Rs loan would have granted. They are confident that amount of 50,000Rs. Plus the profits could be paid back on monthly basis from the business.

Helabima organization would like to invite any of Sri Lankan to help the particular society via a feasible proper investment plan covered legally and it would also be an immense service to the Horowpatana farmers to support the paddy cultivation which they had done for generations. Helabima organization is in a position to recommend a suitable third party due to the mutual trust built up between UKGSS in this case.

Foot note

This web page would be incomplete in detail, unless if the historical facts of Horowpatana not mentioned as follows.

The town of Horowupotana is situated approximately half way along the Anuradhapura-Trincomalee road, 56 km from Anuradhapura. The name Horowupotana has been derived from "Horowuwa Ippaduna Sthanaya". While  "Horowuwa" is the Sinhala term for sluice gate, " Ippaduna Sthanaya" when translated to Sinhalese means where it originated. Therefore Horowupotana is where the sluice gate of an ancient irrigation canal supplying water to the Padaviya tank from the Yan Oya originated. The ruins of this ancient canal of over 55 km was traced by Mr. P.U..Ratnatunga, a former Surveyor General of Ceylon.

The village called Parangiyawadiya named after the Portuguese invasion in Sri Lanka. A fleet of Portuguese went to Jaffna to fight with the Sinhalese General named Mudali Atapathu who ruled Jaffna at the time backed by the Sinhalese kingdom in 15 th century.

They were infested with a disease called Leprosy. Local name to leprosy is "Parangi" and the name " Parangi" is used to identify the Portuguese in a negative way due to the damages had done to Sri Lanka.

They had stayed for some time in this village called Parangiyawadiya on the way to Jaffna hence it became famous as “Parangiya (Portughese) Wadia (stop over); thus became Parangiyawadiya. The western colonial nations started with the Portuguese coming in manifested as a religious institute of the invaders. The history of Sri Lanka, from 1505 to 1948, is replete with a number of sordid incidents in which the Christian Church and its administrators acted as the agents of suppression of the Sri Lankan people, mainly the Sinhala Buddhists.

Portuguese introduced Christianity to Sri Lanka in 1505. From that time for a period of 450 years, because of the many atrocities committed by the Dutch & the English invaders up to 1948, only a 4.5% of the people in Sri Lanka embraced Christianity. It is a fact those people who embraced Christianity did not do so because it was a superior philosophy in comparison to Buddhism, but because of their greed for economical & social benefits from the foreign invaders.

Coming back to the villagers in Parangiyawadiya, not even one percent of people had been converted as the Portuguese wished even though the villagers had suppressed, tortured in forced conversions.

In fact it is a tragedy that w e have almost forgotten the people like Horowpatana farmers at North and East, in keeping the Sinhalese heritage and also the invaluable contribution in unraveling the history and archaeology of this country whose ancient ruins and monuments whisper of our vibrant past steeped in history and legend, religion and culture.