The Durability of Solar-Power Lighting Units and An Exemplary Outcome at Thalakolawewa

Chandra Fernando

We have been donating these lights since May 2014 to the same school [viz., the Thalakolawewa Primary School], amongst other places all over Sri Lanka. Last Saturday we received news that 42 children who studied under our lights were able to pass their Govt Scholarship Exam. 

This result is mainly due to the Principal’s dedication and commitment in encouraging the staff to have night classes and in making a special request for extra lights for the school.  He came to Sudath’s place and collected the lights personally. We have since arranged to give the school 4 lighting packages each containing 6 lights for the new batch of students.

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Since the year 1987, there have been massive technological developments in this sector.  The Anduren Eliya Project commenced in 2014 and thus far we have had to replace only two lighting packages out of the 1700 delivered.  Electrical items cannot be guaranteed, but, Thank God, these units are working well.

Though these units are donated free, if somebody complains, we will take the faulty unit and replace it with a new one. As I said before only two units have been faulty. They also carry a one-year manufacturer warranty.  What gave me confidence in these solar units is our garden lights [in Sydney]: whenever we clear the weeds, we clean the light and even after 12 years they still work.

If 42 children from the rural Thalakolawewa Primary School could pass Govt Scholarship exam studying under our light, I think it is fully worth our effort.

If Ms Setunge could provide us with the details of families who are in need of reading/studying lights, we will provide them with lights, and she could keep track and let us know their condition after one year, two years and three years.  As you are aware, we are all volunteers and we are unable to track the condition of individual lighting units: but the school principal or AGA or gramasevaka would have the contact details of our representative Mr Ajith Cooray.  We provide lighting units to the same area twice or thrice – whenever the need arises.  We do not track them individually, but they could always find us.

PS: We issue a Tax-Deductible Receipt for contributions received. Our accounts are in ACNC Register, Thank God!…………………………Blessings!

BACKGROUND EVENTS reported earlier

* STOP PRESS NEWS, 11 October 2019:
“News Flash: Anuradhapura – Thambuttegama Area Thalakolawewa Jaya Mawatha Primary School 42 children have passed Govt Scholarship Examination. (Very high record) Thanks to the dedication of Principal, Mr Saman Ekanayake, teachers who held free tuition classes till 9 pm, the hardworking children, and of course ANDUREN ELIYATA SOLAR POWERED LIGHT DONATION PROGRAM which donated lights for night classes.

So happy to be able to play a very small part in this village development. Thank You for your support! ……… Blessings!

Chandra Fernando, Public Officer, Anduren Eliyata

* EMAIL MESSAGE from PROFESSOR GERALD PEIRIS in Kandy, 11 October 2019: …
Further good news: … One of the kids referred to has become the first in the all-island merit list, securing 99 out of 100 marks. This is given publicity in the Sunday issue of the island distributed today. It is quite amazing, given the extremely tight competition this scholarship exam involves. While being grateful to everyone who has helped, my own conviction is that such an examination should not be conducted at all for 10-11 year olds.


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