Sri Lanka has now for weeks been battling a COVID-19 pandemic which has so far seen over 160 people infected but at the same time we have seen full recoveries of patients as well.
From the day the first local patient was identified on March 11, authorities and the government have done their best in containing a spread and today these efforts have been recognized by the WHO together with the international community who have commended our efforts in tackling a wide spread. Infact authorities, while imposing an islanwide curfew in order to maintain social distance which is of vital importance, have ensured that essentials reach the public in all districts so that they are not inconvenienced.
The government has tied up with ride hailing platforms such as UberEats, Pick me as well to ensure essentials reach the public, while supermarkets and other outlets are working around the clock to cater to people’s needs. Their efforts together with the efforts of all others who are in the forefront of fighting this pandemic is commendable.
While we, along with citizens of many other countries remain indoors, I recently initiated the #HomeGardenChallenge here in Sri Lanka, which encourages people from all walks of life, to plant a vegetable or fruit plant which will help create a more sustainable and self sufficient future for us all. We all know that going organic is the need of the hour and creating a sustainable environment within our household will not only make us independent during times of crisis but it will also teach our future generations on the importance of home gardening, which is a concept which has fast diminished in this modern world.
We have been told that our ancestors used to live very sustainable lives, never running short of food, achieving self sufficiency while respecting the environment. Even though one can aruge that we now live in different times, our generation can indeed bring these values back to a great extent which will encourage our children on the importance of self sufficiency.
To keep the chain going, the government is even ready to hand over seeds and plants to people for home gardening and if people wish to purchase plants or seeds they can do so by logging on to saubagya.lk. At this point some may even argue that a large area or garden maybe required to grow such plants or trees. However days after I initiated the #HomeGardenChallenge, people residing in small areas and apartments have also taken on the challenge by growing plants in pots and posting their pictures on social media. Where there is a will there is a way.
In recent days, I thank many well known and leading personalities who have accepted the #HomeGardenChallenge. Companies too have taken on this challenge by planting trees which can lead to a stronger environment for us to sustain ourselves.
I thank many including President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who have always worked tirelessly for the betterment of the nation, then personalities such as Otara, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Dimuthu Karunaratna, several journalists, friends and citizens who have planted a tree which promotes food sustainability.
In the coming days, I hope many more people will take part in this good cause while staying indoors, because a strong, independent environment will not only be an asset to us all, but will also lead to a stronger and more practical future for our future generations.