2023 marks 200 years of the arrival of Malaiyaha Tamils in Sri Lanka. Often identified as the estate worker community or Tamils of Indian origin, the Malaiyaha (Upcountry) Tamil community has and continues to make significant contributions to the island's economy through their hard labour. Despite their essential contribution to the financial wealth of the island, Upcountry Tamils continue to face discrimination, and most do not enjoy the same rights as others and continue to be marginalized, including lack of access to quality education.
All proceeds collected from the 15th Annual Walk-a-thon will support the advancement of education by rebuilding Dehiowita Tamil Mahavidyalayam in Dehiowita, Sri Lanka.
Dehiowita Tamil Mahavidyalayam is an educational institution with a century-old history. Originating from modest beginnings, Dehiowita Tamil Mahavidyalayam underwent a transition from ecclesiastical ownership to government administration in 1963, a pivotal move aimed at widening access to quality education for the local populace. The year 1977 marked a notable milestone when the school found its permanent location in Dehiowita, reinforcing its commitment to imparting knowledge and values.
Notwithstanding its achievements, the institution has encountered challenges along the way. A substantial setback occurred in 2016 when a devastating landslide inflicted severe damage on the school's infrastructure, disrupting its academic activities. However, the resilience of the community demonstrated their unwavering dedication to education.
In 2022, a collective effort was undertaken by students, parents, and well-wishers in Dehiowita, who rallied for support to rejuvenate the school. Their objective was to restore an environment conducive to learning—a sanctuary of knowledge that had been dormant for an extended period.
Presently, Dehiowita Tamil Mahavidyalayam faces infrastructural constraints, particularly inadequate classrooms, and an insufficiently equipped science laboratory. Addressing these challenges is paramount to ensuring a conducive and modern learning environment for students. The school seeks external assistance to improve its facilities, enhance the quality of education, and provide students with the necessary tools for academic and personal growth.
Proceeds from the 15th Annual Tamil Canadian Walk will support the rebuilding of the school. We are once again asking our donors and supporters to give generously towards the advancement of the Upcountry Tamil community's access to education.