Sri Lanka’s No.01 bank, Bank of Ceylon recently inaugurated “BOC Gammana- Mandaramnuwara” a pioneering and ambitious rural development initiative under the auspices of the Bank’s Chairman President’s Counsel Mr. Ronald C. Perera and General Manager/ CEO Mr. Russel Fonseka. DGM Branch Operations Mr. Priyal Silva, AGM Central Province Mr. Sarath Wijesinghe, AGM Consumer and Development Banking Mr. Samantha Wimalasiri, AGM Marketing Mr.Aruna Hettiarachchi and other officials of the bank participated to the opening. The Bank also appreciates the support of AGA Hanguranketha Mr. I.M. Senanayaka and officials of the AGA office to make this project a success. This new project initiated- Mandaramnuwara is a village located in Nuwara Eliya District in the Central province, is the second model village taken under “BOC Gammana” Island wide programe.
The program concept was implemented by Consumer and Development Banking Division and this initiative is targeted at enhancing financial literacy and livelihoods of the rural population residing in underprivileged rural outskirts of the country. This respective project was carried out by the BOC’s Padiyapallella branch under the supervision of AGM Central Province.
BOC has structured a range of special programs to reach these target groups and a number of programs have already been implemented successfully. The formation of BOC Mithuru Groups and Ran Kekulu “Sansada”Societies at school level aimed at inculcating the saving habit in children, are among some of key programs in place to enhance financial literary. Simultaneously, BOC focuses on empowering and strengthening the rural economy by providing financial assistance to home garden activities aimed at self-sufficiency along with debt-funded development programs coupled with the generation of self-employment opportunities through its micro-finance schemes.
In line with the ‘BOC Gammana’ initiative, the Bank completed several initiatives in Mandaramnuwara village in order to develop communal facilities and infrastructure of the village, which includes renovation of the village Public Play-ground, Bus stand, Public Library and its road direction boards. BOC also installed a CRM in Mandaramnuwara bazzar area considering its growing number of tourist visits. In order preserve greenery of the village, BOC also commenced a tree planting program in the surroundings of public playground. Further, the Bank assisted to establish a computer lab and two smart classrooms at Udawela primary school and opened a new “BOC Ran Kekulu Sansadaya” at Udawela Maha Widyalaya.
As our rural population represents a vital part of the core of our economy, rural development programs play a crucial role in unleashing the true potential of this sector which would ultimately contribute to fuel the overall economic development of our nation. As the country’s leading bank and premier state -owned Bank, it is believed that BOC has a special role to play towards development of the rural economy and elevating livelihoods of the rural population. In this context, ‘BOC Gammana’ is a unique rural development program undertaken by BOC.
Apart from assisting rural economies, this program will also contribute to enhancement of financial literacy among the population and will lead to further popularization of digital banking services in these rural areas. This initiative was the first instance that a Sri Lankan Bank pioneered a national project of this nature. During the implementation, it was observed a keen interest among the people in village and active participation to make this program a success. The bank is sincerely proud to become a source of strength to them.