In the village of Madampella nestled in the area of Divulapitiya in the Gampaha district lives a community of weavers, who has traditionally been working on hand loom textiles.
Over the years and from one generation to another their expertise was passed on however their development and progress was affected by policy change by each succeeding government/ political system and as a result the markets.
Wijeratne 85 years of age lives within this beautiful village surrounded by paddy fields and lush greenery. Any given day if you stop to take in all its natural beauty you are bound to also hear the beat of the “tuk ,tok” sound of the handloom machine at work.
Our senior weaver Wijeratne has been involved in weaving since his early teens , and so has his family of 5 brothers and sisters.
His wife of 50+ years,Seelawathi was also a clever weaver and together they built a small business . They brought up their family through these earnings till things changed and they were forced to close. However Wijeratne himself continued and later in life started working with IC to produce very special products of exceptional quality. Of his children his son has moved on to work in the forces, while his two daughters have adopted weaving as their career and explores the new techniques and challenges with great enthusiasm.
Wijeratne , has worked on many different products through his 10 year career with IC, ranging from sarees, shawls, throws and lately the Tea Towels. His work has always been of superior quality and not a thread was ever out of place . However as he developed some medical issues he cannot pursue the more intricate work. With much determination he keeps working , not so much for need of money at this stage but to be of use and to stay occupied.
He is an exceptional human being , an ardent supporter of handloom and an inspiration to the young.