Caring for public property
We see schools, roads, parks, buses, and trains everywhere. They do
not belong to one person, but to all the people. They are used by all of
us, therefore, we refer to them as public property.
Public property is made, purchased or maintained by the Government.
Just as we care for our personal belongings, we have to care for public
property too. We should not damage or destroy them. There are lots of
ways to take proper care of public property.
We should learn to care for the school that provides us an education
and many other things important to our lives. We shouldn’t scribble on
chairs, desks or walls. The classrooms should be kept clean.
The playground too should be kept free of litter. Taps in the school
should be turned off after use. If we learn to follow rules in school
and protect school property, we will grow up to be law abiding citizens.
Public libraries are also important places that need to be protected.
They provide a good service to the readers. We should not tear off pages
of books, deface the covers, scribble on books or leave marks on them.
We should take good care of all the books and also other equipment in
these public places.If we learn to care for school property and
libraries, we will find it easier to care for the rest of the public
property in the country.
When we walk down the roads during sunrise and notice that the street
lights are still on, we should inform someone about it, to save
electricity. We shouldn’t pluck flowers or damage plants in parks.
Elders shouldn’t use swings and other things that are meant for children
and break them.
When we travel in a bus or train, we must not damage the seats and
the rest of the vehicle. Railway platforms and bus stands should be kept
clean. We can make Sri Lanka clean and beautiful by caring for public
Role of the family in society
The smallest unit in society is the family. There are two types of
families. They are the extended families and nuclear families.
In the past, all families were extended families. An extended family
comprises father, mother, children, grandparents and even some
relations. Extended families were very common in the past and still many
live in such family units.
However, in the future, people are going to become more competitive
than in the past to live a comfortable life. Because of this everyone is
trying to earn more money.
The father of a family has the responsibility to look after his
family and when expenses are high there are big problems. So, nowadays,
maintaining extended families is rather difficult and people prefer
nuclear families which includes father, mother and two or three children
at the most.
Apart from the money, people also haven’t enough time to fulfil their
responsibilities and maintain the bond between family members. This is
the first step which leads to problems and disharmony among family
Sometimes, parents have no time to help their children in their
studies or see to their personal needs. In modern society, most often,
both parents are employed and so they are too busy to see to the needs
of their children. We can’t close big holes without first closing small
So, we can’t make a good society without first having a good family.
If we carry out our responsibilities and duties among family members,
according to the “Singalovada Suthraya” in Buddhism we will have a good
family, ensuring love and affection, caring and sharing among family
members. Then step by step we can establish a good society.
Therefore, the role of the family is most important in creating a
My big question ...
There are plenty of wild squirrels in our garden. Though I like wild
animals I don’t like to keep them in cages. But the squirrels are tame
enough to come inside the house and eat out of our hands.
One day I spotted a squirrel busily bundling some hair taken from my
doll. I watched it for a while and realised that the squirrel was going
to make a nest in my room.
After some time I heard the cry of a baby squirrel. Then some days
later I saw the mother squirrel with her two offspring sitting on the
The next morning, the mother was very busy teaching her first lesson
to her babies; jumping, running and climbing on the window-sill and the
When the cheeky, fat baby squirrels are on the window-sill the mother
jumps up to the curtain to show them how to jump, I guess. But when the
babies fall down, she runs to them and kisses them.
How lovingly she was teaching the little animals! The mother was
trying to take them out of the room by pulling them by their tails, ears
and necks. After several attempts at teaching the first lesson, the
mother somehow or the other managed to take them to the garden.
I followed them with my parents because I thought that the nasty cat
that roams in the garden will make a lovely meal out of them. To my
great joy and relief, they crept up to the mango tree and ran along with
the mother to the open world, to observe nature.
If a tiny, weeny baby squirrel can learn to run, jump and get about
without a walker to walk, or helpers to carry it about, why can’t we
humans too learn like that?Why do we need others to do everything until
we reach a certain age?
Importance of English
English plays an essential role in today’s world. We can easily say
English is ‘the key’ to the world.
English is the language spoken in most parts of the world and it is
the international language that links people.
Today the computer is an important tool in education. In fact the
computer, internet, fax and most modern technological inventions are all
connected to English. Higher studies like business and medicine are also
taught in English. So we need to know English in order to study these
subjects because there are hardly any books written about them in
Sinhala or Tamil.
We need to pay a lot of attention to mastering the English language
from our young age. We must make use of the television, books and
newspapers to sharpen and improve our knowledge of English. We must also
try our best to get the help of our elders and teachers to learn the
language and try to use it in school and outside too as often as we
Enjoying nature while travelling by train
In order to enjoy the beauty of nature, we made arrangements to
travel to Badulla in the observation saloon in the train. We set off on
our journey from the Pettah railway station at 5.55 a.m. on February 3,
The observation deck or saloon has many facilities and enough space
and as it is the last compartment of the train, we could get an
excellent view of every inch of nature we passed by.
On the way, we passed three climatic zones. The train travelled
through many hills and then went down speedily through hollow tunnels
and bridges too. We also passed the Mahaweli River, Maha Oya and
From Colombo to Badulla there were more than 40 tunnels. The longest
tunnel was the tunnel which is between Hatton and Kotagala; It was 1,842
ft long. When the train went through it we couldn’t see anything. Many
people who were in the other sections of the train began to shout..
The Pattipola railway station is the highest station and is 1891 ft
high from sea level. Pattipola tunnel divides two climatic zones. When
we enter the tunnel from the station, we leave behind the wet and cool
zone, but when we come out of it, we enter the dry zone. It is an
unforgettable experience for any person in life.
The great hollow is in the Great Western. From the railway station
Ohiya, the train continued its journey through the Hortonthanne and
Ambewella forests which are home to so many endemic species of plants
The panoramic view of greenery, mountain ranges and cascading
waterfalls falling down from mountains enhance the beauty of nature and
holds one spellbound to nature. The other attractive scene that could be
seen was at the Ella railway station. We could view rare, serene scenes
The Demodara bridge is also a special feature along the route with
its nine arches. It is greatly designed because the train goes through
the bridge and comes back to the Demodara station, around the mountain.
Demodara station is the only station which is situated in the same
mountain hollow where the Demodara tunnel is situated. The beautiful
scenery along the way captivates the heart and titillates the senses
about the environment. When passing many a beautiful place, the train
seemed to be travelling slowly and it gave us an opportunity to
carefully observe the attractive spots of nature.
The rustle of leaves, and the sound of birds twittering can also be
experienced when we travel in the observation saloon. Even after we
completed the journey, we were still in high spirits reminiscing our
This will indeed be a memorable experience in my life. You too can
enjoy this beautiful trip and have a great experience if you go in the
observation saloon, when travelling by train to Badulla.
Save the Earth
Our great Earth is a world of utmost splendour,
Huge sturdy trees with leaves quite tender,
Line the land like green skyscrapers,
And termites act as natures bakers.
Snakes armed with toxic cocktails,
Reptiles with all so colourful scales,
With venom so potent as to make hearts fail,
And bodies as long as a train rail.
Are scattered all over the vast lands,
Under the oceans and across the sands.
Crows are the hazardous desperadoes,
The most sleek and cunning of all our foes,
We see crocodiles all too often on the telly,
Monsters that can turn our bones to jelly.
Waterfalls brace the Earth with immense power,
Their white water creating a liquid tower,
Bromeliads so full of miniature life,
Frogs as slippery as butter through a knife,
Birds that sing all day and night,
And then spread their wings for a morning flight.
But it’s disappearing now in the blink of an eye,
And all we humans do is sigh,
But do we really want to let everything go,
Exposing everything to a river flow,
The river of extinction, the river of nothingness,
We think of ourselves with all that fullness,
As Earth’s protectors, as saviours of the world,
But all we did is create a path, so twisted, so curled.
I think it’s clear that we’ve changed the Earth,
From what was once a warm and secure hearth,
Into a place covered with more grey than green,
Forgetting what we had all once seen.
So if you care about all the life,
If you care about yourself,
Save the Earth and save yourself.