The Swarna Hansa Foundation: Forty years of Golden Service | Sunday Observer

The Swarna Hansa Foundation: Forty years of Golden Service

Priority areas of development undertaken by the Foundation was food and agriculture with a focus on rice and paddy cultivation, and work was begun with the reconstruction of the village wewa (tank) with the support of the villagers and the revival of indigenous and endogenous agriculture

The Swarna Hansa (Golden Swan) Foundation has rendered 40 years of yeoman service to the nation. Established in 1978 with the aim of assisting Sri Lankan communities to engage in socioeconomic activities with discernment, the Swarna Hansa Foundation’s initiative is two pronged, working simultaneously on promoting social development and demoting undevelopment.

Their comprehensive program is based and designed as a catalyst for people to help revive and protect things beneficial to Sri Lanka while undermining and rejecting elements harmful to the country, and the work of the Foundation has been widely recognised locally and internationally. The international recognition came with the embodiment of the Swarnahansa Program in the Manila Declaration on People’s Participation and Sustainable Development.

The Foundation works to eradicate certain detrimental features in the country resulting from colonialism and the free economy. After the liberalisation of the country’s economy the Swarna Hansa Foundation had to reorient its original program to meet the challenges of a free economy. New components such as, the promotion of natural identity, ideology and production was incorporated into the program along with measures to discourage attempts to disrupt or undermine these vital spheres.

Priority areas of development undertaken by the Foundation was food and agriculture with a focus on rice and paddy cultivation, and work was begun with the reconstruction of the village wewa (tank) with the support of the villagers and the revival of indigenous and endogenous agriculture .

The Dahaska Wew program was launched to help in the reconstruction of thousands of destroyed and abandoned wewas and was first started in Uva Wellessa and in the Eastern Province . The aim of the Dasa Dahasak Ling is to help villagers dig wells to obtain the much needed potable water and the first wells were dug in the south east corner of Panama. The program was extended to many other areas including Ampara, Polonnaruwa Nikaweratiya and Puttalam. With the Siya Dahask Pinthalay project villagers were encouraged to use the traditional water container called Pinthaley made out of natural clay.

In controlling what is termed as undevelopment, by them initially,the Swarna Hansa Foundation initiated a drive against tobacco for the first time, in the country. The Foundation also got a patient suffering from cancer due to smoking to file a lawsuit against the tobacco company for compensation and the judgement was given in his favour albeit a long delay.

The Foundation is involved in the eradication of fossil fuel arsenic inputs in agriculture as part of their war against undevelopment.

The Swarna Hansa Foundation has been awarded the Asian Non- Governmental Organisations Coalition (ANGOC) Award.

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