When it comes to modern communication a major issue confronting rural areas of Sri Lanka is to do with transferring technology to those regions. It creates barriers and set backs and is a distinct disadvantage in matters of commerce and education. This is a quite evidence for example in Damahana, a village area which is situated in Ratnapura district of the Sabaragamuwa province in Sri Lanka.
In an attempt to address this problem an e-village Unit was established at the Damahana public school under the guidance and supervision of the Ministry of Education, the National ICT agencies and the of Presidential Secretariat.
An organization called the Oasis Damahana Foundation was established after consultations with parents and children in the community. All activities of e-village are carried out by and through this organization.The teacher selected to run the e-Village project in Damahana is Mr. K. M. W. Bandara, who is very diplomatic and loved by his students and respected by the community.
Students of the e-village, after receiving proper training can skillfully explore and surf the internet in a manner that benefits their education immensely. Further, they have made vast strides in improving their English language skills. Now they can work with the internet writing and maintaining Web blogs as an active unit.Around 180 children have been selected to be trained as the first team of e-village students. They are given training in ICTs and English language improvement with the support of the staff and volunteers. Some of the students have the luxury of communicating with overseas online volunteers who help the students in improving their English. Damahana eVillage has expanded its services to around 250 youth in the area to familiar themselves with computers and the Net. Around 100 parents also are given occasional training in the use of computers and surfing the Net. Catering to such a big audience is not easy and Bandara uses both school hours and after school hours, to serve those who seek knowledge. Sometimes the training sessions are held at night because the parents are free at night after work during the day. Surfing the Net has given a new experience to the community and now they are getting accustomed to its overwhelming usage in day today life.
Further the members explore things of special interest of the environment for the notification of the World. The benefits of our computer unit are enjoyed to the maximum. There is still much room for improvement. Students & villagers alike require further regular training and updating in the use of ICT and the English language.
History runs back to the period of the famous legend “Rama Ravana” . Balangoda which is situated at an attitude of 670 m (2096 ft) belongs to the Sabaragamuwa province. Its surroundings are enchanting. One can reach this city traveling 147km east of Colombo and 57 km west of Badulla. This is one of main cities that belongs to kadawatha mada korale in Rattnapura district. This area is bounded by the pettigala mountain range in the west, the steep crest of Detanagala known as the southern steep in the north and mahawalatenna plateau in the east.
The irrigation system of Balangoda mainly consists of two rivers called the walawe ganga and way ganga. Dorawela oya and Belihuloya meet the Walawe River at Balangoda. The Way ganga originates at Mawela. The average temperature of Balangoda is about 27C and the average rainfall exceeds 2000 mm. Heavy rain is experienced during the months of March,April October and November. February and August are warm and windy.
When the geographical history of Balangoda is taken into consideration it is evident that it runs to the prehistoric era. Evidence shows that lives originated from the period of plistozena in the geological era.
The geological structure of Balangoda is a result of chemical and geological evaluation that originated from the prehistoric era. There for Balangoda is famous for precious stones such as Cats eye, blue sapphire, emerald, geuda, and so on.
The majer type of soil is red and yellow Podsolic which is very fertile.
Clay and Kaolin are widely found and used in various industries such as the pottery and ceramic industries. The iron industry is also popular as a domestic industry in Hatanpola nad Hatangala. The “Maran” tree which is abundant in this area is used as fuel which is required for the above industry. The name given to the village Marangahawela implies the fact of abundances of this particular type of plant which has a high thermal power found in Kirimatitenna is used for making tiles Lanka walltiles LTD.
The population density of Balangoda is 256 per one square kilo meters, and the population consists of businessmen’s, Farmers and government officers.
Duwili Ella and Diyawini Ella waterfalls which are situated about 18 km away from Balangoda town enhance the natural beauty of this charming city.
As the very name implies the waters that cascade from the height of 92 feet forms a spray of tiny drops of water like a cloud of dust. The Ride waterfall of the Walawe river is a blessing to Balangoda today. Diyawini Ella which is also a creation of the Walawe river falls down facing a vast stretch of paddy fields.
Kuragala is yet another charming village that one should not forget to visit. It is situated between Kaltota and Rajawaka. Though it had originally been a Buddhist religious place it has how slipped in to oblivion and as a result has become a religious place of Muslims. Among the older stone pillars, the ruins of a place that is believed to be that of king Wimaladharmasuriya are also found in this area. The world famous cluster tombs of homosaphien Balangodaensis whose history runs up to 450000000000 years back are in the close vicinity of this waterfall.
The “Aluthnuwara Maha saman dewalaya” and the University of Sabaragamuwa are the landmarks of the modern development of Balangoda Mahawalathanna walawwa the birth place of the late Mrs. Sirimawo Bandaranayaka the first woman prime minister in the world and also the home of Clifford Ratwatthe, Mallika Ratwatthe and Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumarathunga contributes to creating history in Balangoda
It’s with pride mentioning the names of the most venerable Balangoda Ananda Maithreya thero and veverable Nahinne Sumanatissa thero who rendered a great service to uplift of this area.
History says that this area is famous for the primitive human being “Balangoda Manawaya” and the area is well known all over the world for the Mahawalathenna plateau and this village is situated in a delightful area.
Some say that thousand of monks were wore robes and because of that the got its name as “Damahana” it is true that this is a sacred place. There are paddy fields in the middle of this village.We can see the farmers go to their paddy fields having mamoties on their shoulders and having a betel case.
There are two ways to attend this place through Ratnapura Balangoda towns and through Kirimetithenna Village. The other way is through Ratnapura Pallebedda and Weligepola towns.
To fulfil the educational needs of the children in this area and to enlighten their knowledge Damahana village is becoming as an Educational Centre.