People’s Bank remains committed to uplifting NE lives

Saturday, 15 October 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

While possessing a portfolio of 703 service centres and branches and serving the nation with heartfelt banking innovations, People’s Bank remains committed in contributing towards the betterment of social and cultural fields in the country.

The People’s Bank Golden Jubilee Housing Scheme is yet another initiative undertaken by the bank.

Under the guidance of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and with financial contributions from the staff of People’s Bank, 50 houses constructed along the Medawachchiya-Mannar Road in Madu will be ceremoniously opened on 16 October at the auspicious time of 10 a.m. These houses will be handed over to the people on this day.

A corporate social responsibility project of this magnitude was initiated with a view of uplifting the lives of those people living in the north and east who were the victims of a 30-year civil war.

People’s Bank Deputy General Manager – Branch Network G. G. C. Ariyarathne commented: “In view of the 50th Anniversary, the contribution of Rs. 60 million made by the staff of People’s Bank has resulted in this magnitude of a social initiative becoming a reality. Uplifting the livelihoods of the people of the war-torn areas, which are being rapidly rebuilt, was our objective. What’s more, drinking water and other utilities are also a part of this housing project.”

K. Siri Bharathi Nayaka Thero – Sri Bodhirajaramaya, Madu Road stated: “A three-decade war came to an end under the correct leadership and guidance of the President and our country has seen peace once again. Madu Road is a historic village. The residents were able to come back to the village after an unfortunate event in 1985 only by the guidance of the President after peace was obtained. Today, as a part of its 50th year celebrations, pertaining to a concept by Chairman W. Karunajeewa, People’s Bank has built houses for the residents of the Madu village. In addition, they have made provisions for these houses to be divided amongst the people with no racial discrimination.

“I commend the efforts made by the Chairman in order to provide relief to these underprivileged people and thus enabling them to build healthier lifestyles. In addition I take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa and the Ministry, together with the Government and the President, Ministers, our forces – especially for the manpower assistance received from the Army – the Police, and Civil Security Task Forces for all their efforts in making this project a reality and thereby bringing together the Sinhala and Tamil nations back to the way it was in the past.”

Further commenting on the project and appreciating the good will of people’s Bank Milina Fernando, a resident of the Madu Road Housing Scheme, stated: “During the time of unrest in the village we moved to Kalpitiya to carry out our business in fisheries, however, we returned about a year ago as our land and homes were back here.  We are indeed happy that People’s Bank has taken an initiative to give us residents these houses to live in.”

People’s Bank began to serve the people of the north by establishing its Mullaitivu branch in 1961. Surpassing all other banks, People’s Bank mapped out a plan and as a result witnessed the launch of its branches in Jaffna, Kankesanthurai, Vavuniya, Batticaloa and Kilinochchi respectively.

With the conclusion of the war, the bank re-established its branches in Kilinochchi, Manjulam, Kankesanthurai and Mullaitivu with new facilities and creating even more service centres in Jaffna, Pandikereppu, Puloli, Kalviyandad and Kopai – all in one day in order to offer convenient modern day banking services.

The bank is on the verge of inaugurating branches in the following areas of Cheddikulam, Kiran, Thirankulam and Thiruchendu as well. At present the number of service centres and branches in these areas alone has exceeded 100.

People’s Bank has been with the people of the north and east even during the height of the war, offering them all-round banking facilities while nurturing a relationship of strength.

The bank took steps to offer instant relief to those who were displaced due to the war in an initiative that covered all relief camps at the time. A sum amounting to over Rs. 800 million worth of money and jewellery belonging to these people was safeguarded by the bank and online mobile banking facilities with teller machines were also provided to the relief villages.

Together with the support of the staff of People’s Bank, the bank provided essential items and clothes worth Rs. 1.1 million to those people who were displaced due to the war in 2009. And finally, for further betterment of the people, the bank rendered its support towards the construction of these houses, by handing over Rs. 265 million to the President to assist in this Government initiative.  

Not stopping there, in order to ensure a better future for the war-affected children of the north and east, People’s Bank organised ‘Piyam Vila,’ an educational consultancy workshop, where children in Mannar, Mutur, Cetticulam and Vavuniya were benefited. Furthermore, People’s Bank rendered its official sponsorship towards ‘Uthuru Mithuru’ project to reconstruct the railway track between Colombo and Kankasanthurai.

Rebuilding the livelihoods in fisheries, agricultural, micro industries and trade in the post-war north and east areas, People’s Bank played a lead role in launching the Government-sponsored two loan schemes under the names ‘Pibidena Uthura’ for the Northern Province and ‘Negenahira Navodaya’ for the  Eastern Province. Up to now over Rs. 1,500 million under ‘Neganehira Navodaya’ and ‘Pibidena Uthura’ has been granted as loans by People’s Bank.

Apart from this, People’s Bank introduced other micro-loan schemes. So far Rs. 308 million has been granted under this programme. The total amount of loans given under loan schemes such as ‘Pibidena Uthura,’ ‘Negenahira Navodaya,’ ‘Viskam,’ ‘Athamaru’ and ‘Vidatha’ by People’s Bank is a mammoth Rs. 4,134 million at present – all proof to the fact that People’s Bank is poised to usher in a wide array of banking solutions and services in the future while staying true to its commitment of building a better tomorrow.