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Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka celebrates successful handover of 98 homes for plantation workers


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 A proud new homeowner receiving the deeds to his own property and home from Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera

A proud homeowner family in front of the home of their dreams

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has successfully constructed 98 homes for plantation workers of Hellbodde Estate as part of Phase 1 of the Indian Housing Project

 

  • Families in Hellbodde Estate Nuwara Eliya benefit via project sponsored by the Government of India 

On 24 March, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka Taranjit Singh Sandhu and Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera ceremoniously handed over 98 homes built under the ‘Indian Housing Project’, to the families of the Hellbodde Estate in Nuwara Eliya. Gracing the festivities were Hill Country, New Villages, Infrastructure and Community Development Minister Palany Thigambaram, Lands and Parliamentary Reforms Minister Gayantha Karunatileka, and Special Area Development Minister Radhakrishnan.

The Indian Housing Project, funded by the Government of India and launched under the auspices of the Ministry of Hill Country, New Villages and Infrastructure and Community Development, envisions the resettlement of at least 4,000 plantation worker families in newly created cluster villages or townships in the Central and Uva Provinces. As part of Phase 1 of the Indian Housing Project, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka has successfully constructed 98 homes for plantation workers of Hellbodde Estate. An additional 267 homes are currently under construction by Habitat for Humanity in 05 other estates across the Central Province.

Speaking at the event, Indian High Commissioner Sandhu described the Indian Housing Project, which contains a financial envelope of over $ 350 million, as the largest single Indian grant assistance project in any country abroad. Minister Mangala Samaraweera, drawing attention to the close relations between India and Sri Lanka, described India as a true friend, always ready to assist Sri Lanka during emergencies and crisis situations. Given this special relationship between the two nations, the 98-house village was officially named ‘Bhagat Singh Puram’, after famous Indian freedom fighter and youth icon Bhagat Singh. 

Coinciding with the official event, Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka National Director Yu Hwa Li noted that the close collaboration between the Ministry of Hill Country New Villages, Infrastructure & Community Development, the Plantation Human Development Trust (PHDT), respective Regional Plantation Companies (RPC), Plantation Management, home-owner beneficiaries and the Estate Worker Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS) of Hellbodde played an integral role in the successful completion of ‘Bhagat Singh Puram’. 

Comprising a minimum of 550 square feet, each new home consists of two bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen and a toilet. The ownership of the housing program rests with the Estate Workers’ Housing Cooperative Societies (EWHCS), who with the participation of the home-owner families and local construction service providers are engaged in the construction of the homes. This unique participatory approach encourages homeowners to take ownership of the construction of their own homes, while Habitat for Humanity provides technical assistance, quality assurance & monitoring throughout the construction process, ensuring housing quality standards are met.

Celebrating 25 years of operations in Sri Lanka, Habitat for Humanity has assisted more than 25,500 families by building homes, facilitating access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities for communities and assisting families to improve their shelter conditions.


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