Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dahasak Wew and Dasa Dahasak Ling - 1000 Reservoirs and 10,000 Wells

The Drought and the Famine
Due to destruction and non rehabilitation of the village reservoirs for many years the drought, poverty and hunger began to engulf the country gradually. Since no proper corrective measure was taken today it has become a major obstacle for the holistic development of the country.

Reservoir is the life blood of the village. Reconstruction of reservoirs will;
Restore the foundation for sustainable development
Make available water for thirst and food for hunger
Make available water for cultivation
Foster agricultural and environmental development
Revive indigenous industries

Helping to restore a village reservoir is to help an entire community to overcome their hunger and poverty. Confucius as well as Mao Tse Tung have said "Do not give fish to the people, give them a fishing rod". Likewise in Sri Lanka Swarna Hansa would like to say "Do not give lunch packets or dry rations to the people, instead help them to reconstruct their village reservoirs".

Development is an outcome of the people's way of living, which the people usually speak of as culture. Roots of any form of social development lie in the culture which people practice. The culture of this country is time tested and is believed to last till the sun and moon last. In that sense the endogenous culture of this country can be considered as most modern, for the simple reason of its sustainability.
For the last several decades the culture of this country has been budded and weakened and paving way for an outcome which is alien to the country. Hence the programme of the Swarna Hansa Foundation is to strengthen the endogenous culture while weakening the budded culture. Developing roots therefore is the main intention of the Swarna Hansa Foundation.

Water for living has been identified by the Swarna Hansa Foundation as the single most significant component that needs to be strengthened.
Assisting the villages to reconstruct and rehabilitate ancient wew or reservoirs and construct wells, soon became highly need oriented and very effective, that by the beginning of 2004 both these projects had acquired their identities as Swarna Hansa Dahasak Wew (Swarna Hansa 1000 Reservoirs) and Swarna Hansa Dasa Dahasak Ling (Swarna Hansa 10,000 Wells).

According to the Sri Lankan culture the construction of wewa (reservoir) or a linda (well) is a highly effective way of accumulating merits for oneself as well as conveying merits to others. It is in this understanding that wew (reservoirs) and ling (wells) were constructed in the past. Propagating this message is one purpose of assisting the villagers to reconstruct wew and ling.
During the reconstruction work of the Kimbulkema twin reservoirs in Passaraya, Kataragama, one of the major achievements of the Swarna Hansa Foundation in this exercise was the demonstration of superiority of inherent traditional knowledge and skills of the people with regard to construction of wew. The villagers were able to demonstrate that they possess inherent skills and abilities to construct wew by themselves, without the western engineering knowledge. It was well demonstrated when the villagers found the ancient sluices which are more than 1500 years old when they were trying to install a new sluice for the wewa.


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