The life of a grandmother who braved all the odds in life, but still had courage to steer clear of her way with only one grandson left was made comfortable and meaningful by the timely action of the Army troops serving 66 Division Headquarters in Pooneryn.
The village, Vettakadu, one of the most remote coastal hamlets in Pooneryn has about 45 families who maintain close relations with the Army troops, mostly for their livelihood roles.
The elderly woman, Kaneshamurthi Kamaladevi, an original settler from the area was a mother of three daughters and five sons, but LTTE terrorists robbed the life of one of the sons while two more sons and daughters committed suicide following family disputes after they got married some time ago. Two of those daughters were predeceased.
The one and only daughter in early August had a disagreement with her husband and took her own life after an overdose of sleeping tablets, leaving her 4 month old infant in her aging mother’s hands. Soon after the episode, the son-in-law too fled the area, making matters worse for Kamaladevi.
Courageous Kamaladevi began to make her own living by producing ornamental palmyrah boxes for sale. Notwithstanding that meager income, she started her own poultry farm, but difficult remote environment did not fetch her the desired income for living and adopting the infant left in the lurch.
Army troops, having learnt that Kamaladevi, some time ago was successfully running a small boutique on her own in the area, went to the area where she earlier ran the business and located the exact place where her building stood.
Troops, attached to 15 Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment (VIR) serving the area reconstructed the small boutique and got in touch with the donor, Mr A.M Thananayagam of Colombo for supply of a stock of saleable commodities to the new boutique, to begin with.
On Saturday (25), General Officer Commanding handed over the saleable commodities, worth about Rs 50,000 received from the donor to Kamaladevi, enabling her to reopen her new boutique at Vettakadu.
The recipient, Kamaladevi burst into tears on the occasion and vehemently thanked the Army for its concerns about her and her grand infant’s wellbeing. A gathering of her neighbours and a few senior citizens in the area attended the reopening of the new shop.