Members of the 511 Brigade troops serving Atchelu area in the Jaffna peninsula rose to the occasion and came forward to build a new house for a family with two children after their plight was brought to the notice of the 511 Brigade.
Every day the new house recipient, Mrs P. Sivapalan (32) earns her bread and butter doing labour work, away from her thatched hut where she lives with her two children since her husband had left the family some time back.
It was found that she with her two children struggles to make both ends meet as one of the children is still a toddler but her residential hut does not provide room for her to leave the child alone with the elder one until she returns after meager work outside.
Colonel W. Goonathilake, Commander, 511 Brigade, touched by her miserable plight, swiftly jumped into action and harnessed the support of all serving the Brigade and the two battalions, 5 Sri Lanka Light Infantry Regiment (5 SLLI) and 3 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (3 VIR).
The project of constructing a new house, worth living in the same place where her old hut was, began soon after all officers and other ranks volunteered to contribute to the worthy cause.
Interestingly, although the original cost for the new house was estimated at Rs 250,000, labour provided by 3 VIR soldiers completed the construction work at Rs 75,000.
Opening of the new house, headed by Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, Commander, Security Forces Headquarters, Jaffna, took place in a very brief ceremony organized in accordance with Hindu rituals where the Commander spoke a few words.
Sri Lanka Army has so far built 1700 new houses for families in the peninsula in addition to large numbers that had been so far repaired or renovated at the request of civilians or state agencies.
General Officer Commanding, 51 Division, Brigadier Piyal Wickramarathne, Divisional Secretary, Kopay Mr. M. Pradeepan, Commander 511 Brigade Col. Wijendra Goonathilake, Commander 3 VIR Lieutenant Colonel W.P. Panditharatne, Commander 5 SLLI Lieutenant Colonel G.A.L. Kithsiri and the Grama Niladhari of Atchelu Mr. Shanmugavelu were also present at the occasion.