Over the years, seven and a half, to be exact I must have bought at least 100 ‘Kimbula udalu thalayas’ for my agricultural needs. If one goes into the web site of Chillington, which is manufactured in the West Midlands in the UK, there is a size and shape of Mammoty just for the Sri Lankan market. I think we must be suckers for inefficient agriculture as we keep insisting on using mammotys and the 9”X9” is the best selling model.
So it was purely coincidental that on Sunday I was in a small village of Udupila in the Mahara electorate to distribute 24 of these to the local people who had been previously informed that they would be receiving one from us. Actually over 100 had requested them, but only 24 could be purchased with the available allocated funds this year with the rest promised next year. This was notably the first time the Kimbula was distributed, as previously the locally produced Lanlo was, and I had no faith in its longevity.
I have mentioned this before, but we can only request the make and size and hope that is what is given. A further problem is that we have no control over the price that is paid for it. These were given at Rs1200 to our budget, when I can buy them at a place I have always bought in Dambulla at Rs850 so one can imagine there is some hanky panky at the Divisional Secretariat in this purchase at the expense of the people of the country. If only they worked for the people’s interest and not their own.
I still question the ethics of handing out these to people who use it for home gardens and around the house tasks, and not for farming proper. It is given because they have requested them from a hobson’s choice of a limited amount of items. Secondly those who received the Mammoty are not necessarily the most deserving cases. Their main claim to fame is that they have been somehow treated unfairly by the state as they are known to be party people, and therefore penalized for a transgression or two whilst those of the govt. who do the same are not even prosecuted. They therefore feel it is their right to receive something when some item such as this is distributed to people in that particular area by one of their MPs.
Further the “Udalu Mita” or the wooden pole to which this is attached must be added before it can be safely used. It is not easy to do this, as I know from experience and it can only be done properly by someone well experienced in it and it is unlikely that the majority of the recipients will be able to do the needful for at least another 6months before they are usable.