Yaal-Payanam is an ongoing two phase project based in the Jaffna Peninsula organised by the Rotaract Club of Faculty of Science, University of Colombo in collaboration with the University of Jaffna and the Rotaract Clubs in Jaffna. The objectives of the project are to create awareness on saving the environment and helping school students with financial difficulty while bringing in many ethnicities together and thus justifying the motto of Rotaract “Fellowship through service!”. With the first phase having been completed successfully on the 7th and 8th of April, the second phase is on the go.
The first phase commenced at dawn on 7th of April, on the Goodwill train journey from Colombo to Jaffna, by raising awareness on the harmful effects of plastic and polythene and promoting dengue prevention by distributing postcards among passengers with trilingual campaigning. The evening was fun-filled with celebrating the Sinhala and Tamil New Year with the fellow Rotaractors of Jaffna. Games like cricket, football and tug of war were played, while later in the evening New Year was celebrated with many fun New Year games and performances which brought two communities together. The evening proved to be fun-packed.
The second day was the highlight of phase one where a Cycle Parade was held on the theme ‘Say No To Plastic and Polythene’ and ‘Let’s work towards a WORLD FREE OF DENGUE! ’. Also a ‘Meatless Monday’ campaign was done by one of our sponsors SLYCAN Trust among the participants of the cycle parade specially targeting the school students.
The cycle parade was nothing but a success with students from different schools in Jaffna, members of Jaffna District Scouts association, Rotaractors of the Colombo University Science Faculty and Jaffna taking part along with employees of banks and various business organizations. Along with the cycle parade, a symbolic tree was planted in the places of importance along the parade route which included the Jaffna Police station, District Secretariat office, Public Library, Jaffna University and places of worship of all four main religions in Sri Lanka to mark the tree planting campaign which will be held in the second phase to counter effect the global warming.
The cycle parade began at the Jaffna Public Library and concluded in the University of Jaffna. Throughout the parade there were campaigns in Tamil and English to reduce polythene usage and prevent dengue while emphasizing on our duties towards the environment. The closing ceremony was held in the Jaffna Univesity in the presence of Vice Chancellor of the Jaffna University, Dean of Science Faculty of Jaffna University and the Dean of the Education faculty of Jaffna University along with representatives of the organizations that had sponsored without whom the event wouldn’t have been possible.
The second phase of the project is to financially aid an underdeveloped school, Iyakkachi Government Mixed Tamil School by donating books and furniture to the school library and by organizing a prize giving for the students of this underprivileged school thereby by encouraging them to do better in the coming years. Also tree planting will take place in the second phase to counter the effect of the Global warming in important places in Jaffna. The preparations for the second phase are underway and this too will prove to be as successful as the first phase of the project.
We invite all green-conscious individuals to join hands with us on this endeavour.
~ Written by Rtr. Ashweni Ramanah ~