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* India to upgrade 70 child development centers in Sri Lanka estate sector
Wed, Jul 23, 2014, 07:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

July 23, Colombo: India has agreed to upgrade facilities at 70 child development centers (créches) in Sri Lanka's estate regions, where a majority of the Indian origin Tamil people live and work in tea plantations.

Following the conclusion of the tendering process, India Tuesday signed the 'Contract Agreement' with a private company in Sri Lanka for the Project to be implemented at a cost of Rs. 58 million.

High Commissioner of India Y. K. Sinha signed the agreement with the R.A. Constructions and Sarvo-Tech (Pvt) Ltd on July 22, 2014 in the presence of Ministry of Livestock and Rural Community Development officials, Indian High Commission in Colombo said in a release.

The project will be taken up in seven estate regions - Hatton, Galle, Kandy, Ratnapura, Galle, Badulla and Kegalle. Ten crèches have been identified for renovation in each estate region.

Apart from renovating the buildings, India will also provide furniture to the crèches to assist children to grow in a safe and hygienic learning atmosphere.

The Project is expected to enable mothers engaged in the tea estates to go to work with the assurance that their children are in a safe environment. This will contribute to the economic empowerment of women and assist families in the estate sector, the High Commission said.

The Government of India has been implementing a number of projects for the estate people of Central and Uva Provinces. These include setting up of two vocational training centers in Nuwara Eliya and Helboda and providing training instructors to the VTC at Hatton.

India further offers the estate sector students nearly 800 scholarships for pursuing higher education in Sri Lanka and India.

The Housing Project for construction of 4,000 houses for the estate families is expected to commence later this year.

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