‘Road traffic injuries and associated deaths have reached epidemic proportions in Sri Lanka, resulting approximately 2,000 deaths and 14,000 injuries each year.’
It is become apparent for the need to place a conscious effort to work as responsible citizens to curtail these problems. As a socially responsible organization in the community, Caltex Lubricants Lanka Limited, combining the issues of health, safety and environment extended the “Haritha Gamana” concept at St Paul’s college Milagiriya. Speaking on the occasion, CEO of Caltex Sri Lanka, Mr. Kishu Gomes said “40% of jobs that we do to earn our income are directly related to the environment and others are indirectly related in someway or another.” Also highlighting the importance of road safety, Mr. Gomes revealed that apart from the loss of lives on our roads, the expenses for the medical facilities given to the injured people and the property loss both put together will be sufficient to build a number of highways in the country in a year.
Caltex governed by its values has contributed to the environmental protection through various projects during the last six years and has been the winner of national environmental award for three consecutive years from 2000. Expanding the scope and looking at different dimensions, it developed and launched the “Haritha Gamana” Program to reach out the community in a different way. The program is mainly focused on the behavioral development through changing the mindset of the children to become more safety & health conscious and care for environment. Further speaking Caltex CEO said the best vehicle to take this concept to the larger society is our younger generation through the local schools in the country “we believe Inculcating best practices at this age will help them not only to evolve them as better responsible citizens but also influence the larger society through their family member, friends, relatives” We must use this vehicle to make a change in our society.
The program which was initially designed and launched in 2005 to Mahanama College was extended to the students of St. Paul’s Milagiriya. The school which has a student strength of well over 3000 students and has been termed one of the leading national schools in the country places a great emphasis on environmental and safety issues. Speaking at the launch Mrs. Geetha Abeygunawardena, Principal of St. Paul’s Milagiriya said “This marks a milestone in the history of our school as we join with Caltex, an organization focused on safety and environment to help us in our cause to curtail pollution and safety risks.” Caltex will work very closely with the school on this project in areas both the school and the organization have identified and agreed upon.
Caltex is committed to investing adequate resources during this year for activities within the scope of the project and is keen to take the concept around the country. Apart from the communication, sharing best practices and other workshops both the company and the school is planning in the areas of health, environment and safety, Caltex will immediately facilitate garbage disposal and Emergency Response Planning (ERP) for the school as these two have become urgent requirements of the school in the current context.