The “Kekulu Thuru Udanaya” Children’s Tree Planting National Programme was inaugurated by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, today (15) at the Atabage Wimaladharma National School premises in Gampola.
The number of children entering grade one in schools every year is close to three hundred fifty thousand. The objective of this programme is to groom them to be eco-friendly citizens and to ensure a secure ecosystem for future generations in line with the Sustainable Environmental Policy introduced by the National Policy Framework, “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”.
The President as well as the Ministers and MPs took part in the programme by planting saplings together with children.
State Minister Shashindra Rajapaksa said that the central theme of this concept is to create a sound mentality by encouraging the students, who are in an examination mindset, to cultivate.
The Ministries of Agriculture and Education will jointly implement the tree planting scheme. The “Kekulu Thuru Udanaya” programme , which commenced today continues year after year. The government aims to add 1.7 million tress including jackfruit, breadfruit, coconut and mango to the environment within next 5 years under the supervision of children. Children living in urban areas will be provided with small plants that are suitable for their environment while children who are living in flats will be provided with potted plants.
The distribution of plants is done by the State Ministry of Agriculture and it is also planned to prepare an annual report on the child and the plant through Agricultural Research Officers of the Department of Agrarian Services.
The President symbolically distributed saplings among the children.
Symbolizing the admission of children to grade one in the year 2021, the President registered the name of a child entering the Atabage Wimaladharma Vidyalaya and made a note in the school log book.
The Governor of Central Province, Lalith U. Gamage handed over the cheque for Rs. 63 lakhs collected by the Central Provincial Department of Education for the COVID-19 Fund to the President.
President Rajapaksa presented certificates of appreciation to three teachers who donated their monthly salaries to the COVID-19 Fund.
The Principal, Ven. Rupaha Sonutthara Thero together with the staff and the students of the school presented a Felicitation Memento to President Rajapaksa to mark his visit to the school.
The President, Ministers and MPs posed for a photograph with the first grade students and prefects of Wimaladharma National School.
Anushka Imeshan, a student of the school, presented the President a portrait of President Rajapaksa, painted by him.
The President, who arrived at the Udagama Public ground to attend the event, engaged in a conversation with the people gathered at the venue, and inquired about existing shortcomings in the area and problems they face.
Fulfilling the request made by the People the President said that he will take steps to develop the Udagama Kalawelgolla road by carpeting it and to inform the relevant officials about the issue of drinking water.
The President also inquired into the well-being of the children, who had gathered in front of Atabage Rajananda Vidyalaya, which is located between Udagama public ground and Wimaladharma Vidyalaya. The President said that the work on the school playground and the half completed building will be completed as requested by the children.
Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Central Province Governor Lalith U. Gamage, State Ministers Shashindra Rajapaksa and Anuradha Jayaratne also addressed the gathering. State Ministers Lohan Ratwatte, Piyal Nishantha, MPs Udayana Kirindigoda, Wasantha Yapa Bandara, Secretaries to the Ministries and officials were also present on the occasion.