Lanka IOC has rewarded nearly 300 children from low income families in Mullaitivu who recently enrolled in the company’s ‘Go Green’ programme, an innovative eco-friendly initiative under which tree saplings are planted and cared for by school children, the company said.
Lanka IOC enlisted the services of 290 children from 29 schools in the Mullaitivu and Thunukkai areas for the latest phase of the project, increasing the number of direct beneficiaries from the ‘Go Green’ initiative to 1301. Pass books from the People’s Bank were handed out to these students at an event attended by LIOC officials.
“In return for taking care of their saplings, which have been recommended by the Forest Department based on the soil and climate of the area, each student will receive Rs. 100 per month for a period of three years.
Lanka IOC has also provided a tree guard made from plastic wire mesh for the protection of each sapling,” the statement added.
“The success of a tree planting programme lies in securing a buy-in from communities to ensure sustainability,” Lanka IOC Managing Director K. R. Suresh Kumar was quoted as saying. “The enthusiasm and commitment of school children from all over the country who are participating in the programme is evidence that the ‘Go Green’ programme has been successful in conveying the message of caring for nature to the younger generation.”
“Building in a reward for those who care for nature has also set a precedent for other corporate entities,” Mr. Kumar added.
Lanka IOC’s Go Green programme was initiated in February 2010 at Hemamali Balika Vidyalaya, Colombo 10, under the patronage of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Prior to its extension to Mullaitivu the programme had encompassed 12 schools in the Jaffna District, six schools in the Colombo and Trincomalee Districts, five schools in the Gampaha District, two schools in Moneragala and Kurunegala and a school in Moratuwa.
Over 1,300 saplings have already been planted under the programme and given in to the care of beneficiary children.