A haven for elders, children
Only a handful of people who are blessed with wealth help others. The
majority of people in modern society do not spend on others and utilise
their wealth only on themselves. Although such people lead luxurious
lives, no one will remember them after their deaths.
The Sunday Observer last week had the opportunity of visiting a
Welfare Home for Elders at Matugama in the Kalutara district, and
witnessed how one section of society helps another section. The Welfare
Home for Elders is run by the Matugama Social Service Society.
The office of this social service society is at Agalawatta Road,
Wettawa, Matugama (about a kilometre from the Matugama junction). It
also runs a children’s home and a school for children, orphans and
mentally retarded children, a vocational centre and a rehabilitation
In an interview with the Sunday Observer, President of the Society
H.D. Adwin said the Matugama Social Service Society was established in
1951 with the intention of helping needy elders and children in the
area. The Society was later expanded due to the increasing number of
inmates who started seeking their help and protection.
The Elders Home was established in 1956 and Eaten Wijegunawardana
became its first Treasurer.
According to Adwin, over 5,000 elders had sought the assistance of
the Society during the past 55 years. At present nearly 32 elders have
found shelter at the Home, some of who are mentally retarded.
Elders at the Home
Inmates observing sil
The Government spends Rs. 300 per month on each inmate while
philanthropists also often make donations.
To admit anybody to the Elders Home, the Grama Seva Niladhari and
Divisional Secretary have to be approached.
Adwin said, if any inmates fall sick, he will be directed to the
nearby Government hospital or given native treatment through an
Ayurvedic health camp conducted by the Society every month.
According to Society member P. Thambavita, about five deaths are
reported at the Home every year and the funeral expenses are borne by
the Society if family members of the deceased do not claim the body.
The Mayura Children’s Home and School is organised by the Society for
the benefit of orphans, mentally retarded children and other destitute
children in the area. At present it provides shelter to about 26
children. Some parents keep their children at the Home due to poverty.
The children are kept in the Home until they reach the age of 14
years; they are also sent to schools and given vocational training in
the making of paper bags, coir work etc.
The Society expects to expand the vocational training segment in
The President of the Society thanked individuals and various social
organisations for making donations to the inmates often and said that
inmates are also given an opportunity to indulge in religious activities
during Poya and Vesak festivals.
The Society also organises New Year festivals for the welfare of
children and elders.
It also maintains a physiotherapy centre for the benefit of elders
The physiotherapists are paid by the Society and its management
requested donors to help them financially to make this program a