Beyond boundaries | Daily News

Beyond boundaries

Optimum Knowledge Institute, Negombo
Head Girl of Optimum Knowledge Institute Negombo, Anuththara Hettikankanamage
Head Girl of Optimum Knowledge Institute Negombo, Anuththara Hettikankanamage

All it takes is just one voice to change the world. Perfect Prefects features Head Girl of Optimum Knowledge Institute, Negombo, Anuththara Hettikankanamage, who knows that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Hettikankanamage is just one voice. There are so many other voices male and female that support gender equality - feminism, the belief in social, economic, and political equality of the sexes. By saying that there are no limits to what women can achieve, she makes us to look inwards and confront ourselves. Is gender bias rampant within us? Or are we simply unaware of it? There are thousands of people who feel we’ve already arrived at equality for men and women. But there are others who feel that the journey of a thousand miles has not ended yet.

“I want to show the world that there is no boundary or limit to what we as girls can achieve. Margaret Thatcher is one leader I admire in history. I admire the fact that Margret Thatcher being a woman was perfectly capable of ruling the country better than her male counterparts,” explained Hettikankanamage.

Indeed, Thatcher was called the Iron Lady. She was known for her uncompromising politics and leadership style. Thatcher attended Huntingtower Road Primary School and won a scholarship to Kesteven and Grantham Girls’ School, a grammar school. She was Head Girl in 1942–43. When it comes to standing up for your principles there are many such examples not just in history but in the present day as well. When it comes to present day examples, for Hettikankanamage, it is her mother. She says that her mother has become a great inspiration. “She is my benchmark when it comes to achieving success. I really admire her strong personality.”

Hettikankanamage points out that her secret to success is her commitment and self- confidence. We know that today most people have low self -confidence. Some people have difficulty expressing themselves in public perhaps due to shyness or speech impediments. According to the bible Moses accomplished the phenomenal feat of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. It is said that Moses once said – ‘I am just not a good speaker. I never have been. I am clumsy with words’. However, we know that he kept on growing in self –confidence.

Hettikankanamage understand that if you want to grow as a person you have to face criticism. Personal growth means learning from your lessons and other people’s lessons. There is no need to take things personally. She adds that you should love criticism. You may not feel very warm inside but you will learn the hard way. Somewhere down the line you won’t believe your luck! Having the opportunity to learn.

Delivering the Welcome Speech as the Head Prefect at the Annual Inter-house sports meet 2019

“Love criticism. Understand the reason behind it and change your ways. Stop only after you have achieved self -satisfaction by giving your maximum. If someone was there with you in your struggle never forget them when you have achieved success. Always try to follow the path shown to you by your teachers. This is because they always wish the best for you.”

We cannot forget our teachers. Because they were our true friends. Their commitment and the love they showed us is the reason why we are where we are right now. The hours they put in and dedication to their profession is why we are indebted to them.

“My ambition is to be a CEO and my aim is to live life in my own unique way while being independent. If I can be a role model to someone, if I can make a positive difference in his or her life, then that would make me happy. My dream is to help people who are in need and bring hope to their life,” said Hettikankanamage.

Opening Prayer of the Ash Wednesday Holy Mass in 2019

Her strength is her guild. Like many leaders she believes in the word ‘We’ rather than ‘I’. The Prefects Guild at OKI Negombo is united and loyal to each other. They are never alone because they have the support and guidance of their teachers. Hettikankanamage added that being a good daughter, sister, granddaughter, friend and a valuable member of the community are roles that mean a lot to her. The relationships we form in life are so important. She wants to be a good daughter because she realizes that her parents have sacrificed a lot for her. She stated that she wants to live a life filled with meaning and that she wants to find that balance that is key to enjoying life. The ink on your certificate is important but friends are family are important to. That is the balance you need. At least that is what all the great books tell us.

The logo of OKI tells us a lot about what the school expects of its students. Hettikankanamage tells us that the Lion symbolizes Bravery. The Rope symbolizes Unity. The Globe symbolizes what it means to be International. The Punkalasa is Prosperity. The Book symbolizes Knowledge and finally the Shield symbolizes Courage. If you have bravery, knowledge and courage, what more do you need in life?

“I always believe in the word ‘we’ rather than ‘I’. Because of our team spirit we are able to undertake any task. We fully understand our duties and responsibilities. By working together we don’t really feel the pressure because we are on the same page. I can always depend on my team mates. Coordinating with them is no problem since we are well organized. I must also thank my teachers and my principal for their unwavering support,” stated Hettikankanamage.

Welcoming Sriyantha Mendis for Language Day Program 2020
Winners of relay event in the Annual Sports meet 2017
 Prefects Investiture 2019 - 2020
Taking part in a project donating stationery items to children from low income families