History

HOW IT STARTED

Past
1820s – British plantation owners recruited people from southern part of South India as a cheap labour force .They walked 131 miles from Thalaimannar to Medawachchiya and through Anuradhapura, Dambulla to Matale to reach the estates, and many died on their way due to deadly communicable diseases,starvation, exposure and exhaustion.They cleared the area and planted tea and settled/many died in this process too socially and economically, and educationally deprived lived in remote and isolated location.1899 North road closed, and immigrants traveled through Tuticorin to Colombo – costly but minimized the disease spreading in the country.Shift of Tea from Coffee – stopped the annual seasonal return to India and they became ‘permanent’ estate resident labour force.They spread out over 500 plantations the Central, Uva,Sabaragamuwa, Western and Southern provinces.