The company has taken swift steps to allocate their own land in Adampodai, Nilaveli to set up a Housing Scheme for these families. This was to become the initial phase of a much larger project to uplift the lives of Internally Displaced Personnel in Trincomalee.
Foundation for a housing project for 25 IDP families was laid on 5th May 2017, in commemoration of late Deshamanya A.Y.S. Gnanam, Founder Chairman of Tokyo Cement Group. Incumbent Chairman of Tokyo Cement, President’s Counsel Dr. Harsha Cabral presided over the foundation laying ceremony which was part of a string of events that marked the late pioneer’s birth anniversary. The housing project adjoins Tokyo Cement Tsunami Housing Scheme built in 2009 by the Tokyo Cement Tsunami Relief Trust, and 25 families affected by the tsunami received deeds to the houses from HE the President during the same commemoration ceremony.
Less than a year later, on 21st March 2018 the new housing scheme for IDPs was declared open by Opposition Leader - R. Sampanthan MP, in the presence of Mr. N.A.A. Pushpakumara, Government Agent and District Secretary of Trincomalee, Dr. Harsha Cabral P.C., Chairman and Mr. Christopher Fernando, Executive Director of Tokyo Cement, amidst a gathering of management and staff, beneficiaries of the project and government officials in the area. The beneficiaries to receive houses were chosen among hundreds of IDP families who were living under dire circumstances for decades by an evaluation committee headed by the GA comprised of the Divisional Secretary and local government officials.
MP Sampanthan, who handed over keys to part of the 25 families, reminisced how he requested late Mr. Gnanam to provide job opportunities to people from the area on the day former President J.R. Jayewardene laid foundation for the Tokyo Cement Factory in 1984, and thanked the company for unreservedly fulfilling that request. While acknowledging Tokyo Cement for going above and beyond its call of duty to the nation since then, he commended the company for initiating the housing project, first for Tsunami victims and now for families returning from India as part of the resettlement program.
Mr. Ravindrakumar, General Manager - Factory of Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC, who spearheaded the entire project in liaison with the local authorities mentioned that the new housing project was fully completed in just 10 months with each house costing around Rs. 2.3 Million. Each house is built on a 10-perch plot of land and is fully fledged with all basic amenities along with paved roadways, a community center and a children’s park. Upon completion, Tokyo Cement made extra effort to make the newly-built, spacious 2-bedroomed house a home from day one for its occupants, by furnishing it with a bed and a wardrobe, signifying the fresh start for a community of over 100 people. He said the company is proud to have contributed to give a small piece of luxury to these families who had been through many hardships and will continue to bring more value to the lives of people in the area.