Voice of influence | Daily News

Voice of influence

“……You made ‘em laugh, you made ‘em cry,
You made us feel like we could fly.
You had your time, you had the power,
You’ve yet to have your finest hour,
Radio, radio,” ____________ Queen

The experiment is a success! Sarasavi Rangamadala has bagged four accolades at the State Radio Awards ceremony 2019. At the beginning no one gave them a chance saying that it was an impossible task. Yet they persevered, fought hard and after receiving air time from SLBC, now they have won four accolades.

The opening ceremony of Sarasavi Rangamadala took place on December 9, 2017 at SLBC and has grown in popularity. This is a first time a faculty in a University has collaborated with SLBC and aired a radio drama series.

“Sarasavi Rangamadala is a radio drama series which is a collaborative effort of the Faculty of Mass Media of the Sri Palee Campus of the Colombo University and the SLBC Commercial Service. Sri Palee Campus of the Colombo University has two faculties and they are the Faculty of Performing Arts and the Faculty of Mass Media. Under the Faculty of Performing Arts, Music, Dancing, Art, Drama and Theatre, Screen Studies and Art and Design are taught as main subjects. Under the faculty of Mass Media, Radio, Print, Television and Media Studies are the main subjects taught,” said Colombo University, Sri Palee Campus, Mass Media Department Lecturer Dilan Dharshana.

Dharshana further commented that it is a dream come true and that even getting those awards at such an award ceremony is a first time for a student group in a University faculty.

“I must state that the University system has actually gifted society with creative people. In light of the recent events – the receiving of these awards, has proved that there is great scope in the University system when it comes to producing creative genius. I think if we are to protect and sustain this culture in Universities then we need more and more of these programmes. If Universities are to be centers of learning, where there is a rich learning environment, then we need more and more of these programmes. I feel without such exploration of new approaches, we cannot sustain this rich learning environment,” said Dharshana.

Dharshana also pointed out that we need to come up with new ideas in Universities and create lively discourses between students and lecturers. We need a focus on creativity.

“The freedom that we were granted was one reason for the success of this program. We had the freedom to do what we wanted with no interference. Very few people thought we could succeed. Our students have the talent and the ability. Programmes such as ours are an excellent opportunity for development,” said Dharshana.

Special Jury Award/ Best Radio Voice Actor of the Year went out to Vihanga Vidhanapathirana. Vidhanapathirana is in the Television field. He commented that he feels very privileged, and it has been a superb experience having taken part in Sarasavi Rangamadala.

“Taking part in this radio drama series has been a great honour for me and I am so happy I got the chance to help create it. Through it, I think Sri Palee campus has gained considerable prestige. We have received awards for this radio concept born within the University. This concept became a reality within the walls of the University. This idea has now progressed to the national level. The journey has not been easy. We faced many challenges. Doing a project on this scale has not been easy. It has taken a lot of effort, practice and training. The student involvement in this project has been 100 per cent and our lecturer Dilan Dharshana needs to be specially mentioned, because it was his idea,” said Vidhanapathirana.

Vidhanapathirana pointed out that in the Media field, the practical aspect is vital. Theory and books is also a part of the learning experience. He stated that in Media you need critical thinking skills that need to be developed through practical exercise. When recruiting this is a requirement for any media organization.

“These kinds of radio shows like Sarasavi Rangamadala give students that platform. You need your practical skills. Until I took part in this programme I had no such experience. I am really glad I had the opportunity to experience this. I am thankful to Dilan sir, and I hope I have lived up to his expectations. I think we have made both our country and the Colombo University proud. Again I must say that this has been a privilege and an honour. This effort of ours is an incentive to others. I think there should be more programmes like this in the future. This kind of platform only can help our country. Our students need more support and encouragement to come up with more great ideas. Programmes like Sarasavi Rangamadala are a boon to Sri Lankan society,” explained Vidhanapathirana.

Lastly Vidhanapathirana stressed that this is good for employment as well and said it is a great way to sharpen skills as there is fierce competition in society. “This training has been invaluable. Radio presentation involves your voice and bringing out your personality through your voice unlike TV. It can be difficult which is why these awards mean a lot to me. My heartfelt thanks go to everyone who made me a part of this experience. In Sarasavi Rangamadala I got the awards for ‘Karaththaya’, and I want to say that taking part in Sarasavi Rangamadala has involved self-discipline, self- control, humility, effort and Sacrifice,” added Vidhanapathirana.

Best Script Writer Merit Award for Radio Drama ‘Karaththaya’was won by Shyamalee Devika Rubasinghe who said that Sarasavi Rangamadala was not a bed of roses and was not created overnight.

“It was the brainchild of lecturer Dilan Dharshana and he is someone who always tries to connect with the youth. He was the one who discovered me. He was very inspiring and it is because of him that I began to show interest in the project. As a child I showed interest in Radio. However I had my reservations – would Sarasavi Rangamadala be successful? We had to show SLBC if we were worthy of their airtime? We put our heart and soul into it and it has paid off. Our lecturer Dilan Dharshana together visiting lecturers Janaka Mahabellana and Pradeep Jayarathna took great pains. Words cannot express my happiness. We all worked very hard to make Sarasavi Rangamadala a reality. So many quit along the way and left us. I speak for all of us when we say that we are exultant about these awards. From day one we were devoted to Sarasavi Rangamadala. I think writing script is in my blood and a talent I have had since childhood,” said Rubasinghe.

She further added that Sarasavi Rangamadala has brought out her potential and the gifts she has been blessed with. She stated that through this endeavor she has been guided, and realized her shortcomings and corrected them.

“I am proud to have competed with seasoned veterans and experienced campaigners and I am delighted about being selected as the recipient of the award I have won. Sarasavi Rangamadala is unique and the first of its kind. My message to anyone is – be honest, do what you enjoy doing, if you are dedicated and work hard, you can succeed,” explained Rubasinghe.

Sarasavi Rangamadala team thanked Chairman of SLBC, Sudarshana Gunawardena, Director General of SLBC, Erananda Hettiarachchi, visiting lecturers Janaka Mahabellana and Pradeep Jayarathna and Chandani De Silva for their support and guidance.


• Special Jury Award/ Best Radio Voice Actor Of The Year – Vihanga Vidhanapathirana

• Best Script Writer Merit Award for Radio Drama ‘Karaththaya’ – Shyamalee Devika Rubasinghe

• Best Script Writer Merit Award for Radio Drama ‘Ganudenuwa’ – Vihanga Vidhanapathirana

• Best Producer Merit Award – Nishanthi Kariyapperuma


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