The Seylan Tikiri Pola has, since its launch on International Children’s Day last October, changed the lives, and more importantly the attitude and thinking, of more than 5000 little pre-school and primary school children across Sri Lanka.
Not only has it taught them the joy of entrepreneurship but also instilled in them the importance of the savings habit. It has also gone a step further and transformed these two concepts into a lifestyle among these little children and their peers at school and in the local community.
The Seylan Tikiri Pola is a novel concept based on the model of the traditional village ‘pola’. The ‘merchants’ (mudalalis) are children from Nurseries and Grades 01 to 05. The bank has invested a significant amount of resources on developing the necessary infrastructure to carry out the event.
They sell are fruits, vegetables, rice, sweetmeats, handicrafts, plants and other goods. They spread their wares on mats or little tables, under the watchful eyes of their parents and teachers, and transact business with hundreds of customers from the local community, friends and well-wishers including their parents.
“Our aim is to give the children of Sri Lanka a firm foundation in the savings habit. Our belief is that the importance of saving should be instilled in children at an early age. It is only then that they can be financially comfortable in later years. Added to this are also basic skills in entrepreneurship which forms a solid foundation to their lives. With the
Seylan Tikiri Pola, not only have we touched the lives of over 5000 little children, but also their parents and fellow schoolmates. This is precisely our aim”, said Seylan Bank’s Deputy General Manager (Marketing) Tilan Wijeyesekera.
Since October 2013, Seylan Tikiri Polas have been held in several locations around the country – Avissawella, Agalawatte, Bogawanthalawa, Batticaloa, Chavakachcheri, Debarawewa, Embilipitiya, Galle, Jaffna, Kamburupitiya, Kilinochchi, Nelliady, Pelmadulla, Ruwanwella, Raigama, Tissamaharama, Badulla, Walasmulla, Bandaragama, Matara, Mawathagama, Grandpass, Ambalantota, Matugama, Welimada etc.
“This initiative has achieved great success and drawn the attention of the entire local community. We plan to take this project to as many rural schools and nurseries to make a significant change in the lives of more children. We are indeed both humbled and honoured to take the lead and create a generation of savings-oriented future adults for a better tomorrow and for the entire nation”, Wijeyesekera concluded.