In the heart of Dehiattakandiya Pussalavinna and Sooriyapokuna villages lies a critical issue that has long hindered the daily lives of its residents: the absence of a proper bridge across the canal. The ramifications of this challenge extend beyond mere inconvenience, affecting the education of children attending Suriyapokuna school from the Pussalavinna area, who regularly navigate a precarious stick bridge. Recognizing the need for change, the villagers have taken a collective stand to address this issue and pave the way for a brighter, more accessible future.
Risking their lives has become an unfortunate routine for the 300 families residing in the villages of Pussalavinna and Sooriyapokuna in the Dehiattakandiya region, situated on the border of the Maduru Oya National Park. These families, primarily farmers cultivating paddy, face daily challenges that include perilous commutes to work or school and urgent rushes to the hospital. Their lives hang in the balance as they must make a daily choice between confronting herds of wild elephants or traversing a rickety wooden bridge with rotting planks that could give way at any moment.
One poignant aspect of this predicament is the arduous journey that schoolchildren from Pussalavinna endure daily. The stick bridge, the only available means to cross the canal, forces these children to trek approximately 1 km to reach Sooriyapokuna school safely. Villagers emphasize that constructing a proper bridge would significantly reduce this distance to a mere 300 meters, easing the daily commute for these young learners.
Responding to the earnest please of the Pussalavinna villagers, the Gammadda General Office has stepped forward to initiate a transformative project. In a groundbreaking ceremony scheduled for December 2, 2023, at an auspicious moment, the village team will lay the foundation stone for the bridge that will connect Dehiattakandiya Pussalavinna and Sooriyapokuna . This symbolic event marks the beginning of a collaborative effort to bridge not only the physical gap over the canal but also the socio-economic disparities faced by these communities.
Crucial to the realization of this endeavor is the generous financial contribution from the Tennyson and Vinita Rodrigo Fund Trust (TVR Trust). Their commitment to improving the lives of those in need is exemplified by their support for this bridge construction project. The TVR Trust's contribution serves as a beacon of hope, inspiring positive change and fostering community driven rural development.
As the foundation stone is laid on December 2, 2023, the residents of Dehiattakandiya Pussalavinna and Sooriyapokuna villages embark on a journey towards enhanced connectivity and improved opportunities. The bridge project not only addresses a physical gap but symbolizes a collective commitment to progress and inclusivity. With the invaluable support of the TVR Trust, this initiative stands as a testament to what can be achieved when communities come together with a shared vision for a better future.