I saw this elderly woman while I and my friend Sajeewa Chamikara were traveling in Kaludiyaalla area in Monaragala district to look into a land issue of the people of that area.
She is a 76 years old mother of one child. But that child is critically ill and cannot work. She said that her husband was about 80 years old.
She was struggling with the soil to plant some seed with the late monsoon to produce some crops to keep her home fires burning in the coming months.
I was very sorry to see her working so hard and I was compelled to ask her if she could work so much.
She wiped the sweat on her face with the ragged cloth she was wearing and smiled wearily.
“I have to work even though I cannot, my son,” she said.
I am hurt. What is this world? Won’t they have some pleasure even in their last days of life? When will we create a world in which we can bring smile to their faces?
Photos and story by Nayana Sanjeewa