A poor man’s rich deed
Ekanayake Mudiyanselage Kapurubanda, a simple man representing the
lowest strata of society, showed the entire country recently, how rich
even a poor man could be. His wealth was not in hard cash, neither was
it any wealth that a burglar could lay his hands on – his wealth was a
heart made of gold.
Ekanayake Kapurubanda, an
Watching on TV the gut wrenching images of those who wailed and
mourned over the shocking and dizzying deaths of their loved ones – the
bodies of the young and the old buried alive in the Aranayake and
Bulathkohupitiya landslides within a matter of seconds, the 55 year old
found himself speechless. Tears rolled down his cheeks, blurring the
images on the TV.
His wife, Sandya Kumari, did not object, when he bared his mind to
her. She and their two daughters gave their blessings to his wishes to
donate the land he had acquired with hard earned money, working many
years as a bricklayer, travelling from place to place on his bicycle.
A man who had had a formal education only up to Grade 7, Kapurubanda
was an example to the whole society. While the media constantly
highlighted reports of politicians merry making in disaster struck
areas, exploiting the situation to milk more votes, handing away other
people’s relief parcels, Kapurubanda quietly walked over to the village
temple, Padeniya Raja Maha Viharaya, and disclosed his wishes to the
chief incumbent of the temple.
He wished to donate three acres of his nine acre land to build houses
for the landslide affected.
By a stroke of luck, the District Secretary of Wariyapola,
K.M.H.K.Jayalath was at a meeting with the chief incumbent
Ven.Katumuluwe Sumanarathana thera when Kapurubanda arrived at the
temple. The District Secretary was amazed at his offer but promised to
Kapurubanda was a devout Buddhist and a member of the Dayaka Sabha of
Kapurubanda, his wife
Sandya Kumari, daughters Ireshika and Tharushika with the chief
incumbent of Padaviya Raja Maha Viharaya, Ven. Katumuluwe
Sumanarathana Thera and District Secretary, Wariyapola, K.M.H.K.
Jayalath (Pix: Nandawathie Pathiraja)
Even though a commoner, struggling to make ends meet in his home
front, he was convinced that there were others who could make better use
of his land. Parts of the land had coconut and teak plantations and had
all amenities, including electricity. His property today may have shrunk
by three acres but an entire country appreciates his generosity. The
first report of his selfless deed appeared in facebook posts.
“I have two daughters. And I will split the balance six acres of my
land between them. It is more than enough for us.” he told the Sunday
His elder daughter, Ireshika Kumudukumari has completed her GCE A/L
examination and is following an IT course at the Wariyapola Tehcnical
College, while the second daughter, Tharushika is a Grade seven student
at Padeniya Sunanda Vidyalaya.
“ I felt so sad when I saw the affected people on TV. Tears rolled
down my eyes. There was no other way for me to help these people. I
decided to donate my land to the government so that the affected need
not go back to the perilous areas again.”
Kapurubanda, with his family, handed over the deed of his land to the
District Secretary on Thursday at the Padeniya Raja Maha Viharaya in the
presence of Ven.Sumanarathana thera.
The District Secretary said Kapurubanda showed noble qualities
through his act.
It is not clear if the disaster struck people from Aranayake and
Bulathkohupitiya will want to come all the way to Wariyapola to begin a
new life, but the District Secretary has given his word that
Kapurubanda’s effort and his good intentions will not go waste.