A ray of hope for the less fortunate | Daily News

A ray of hope for the less fortunate

As International Women’s Day was celebrated recently, a lot of projects, commemorations and programmes were on the pipe line. Premier women’s organizations are getting ready to appreciate all women, for going through the social challenges and the dire consequences of ‘being a woman’. Sarcastic as it may seem, this is the ultimate truth.

Most women in Asian countries including Sri Lanka have to go through this ‘gender based discrimination’, where the ‘International Women’s Day’ is just one day in the calendar for them. All these discussions regarding women’s rights, gender equality and women’s freedom and independence goes down the drain, and is limited to only one day. In the modern context, feminism is regarded as an important subject, and gone are the days when women were only there to get married, bear children and become an imprisoned slave in the house, and sacrifice their hopes, freedom and goals to satisfy a man and the family members. Asian women still have not understood that ‘to get what you want; you don’t need a man’. The reason why this subject was brought up was, in parallel with the International Women’s Day, we are going to feature a special woman whose experiences in life would certainly inspire other women and guide them to follow their dreams. She is a busy entrepreneur, social service worker, a mother, and an artiste as well. Meet Dr. F D Concy Perera and this is her story, being ‘a queen nor a queen’.

As a woman born in a traditional South Asian country, Dr Perera had to go through the same experiences which any woman would have to face . A true inspiration to all women, she has been through the best and the worst times, and have faced it all. If you listen to her success story, no doubt it will make any woman feel like a queen. Her story clearly shows that women should be strong and independent, and once they become that, no obstacle will ever stop them from writing their future success story.

As this wonderful woman with an amazing personality speaks to me about her experiences, it is amazing to know how much she as a lone woman had to go through, also bringing up her children as a single mother at the same time. One might think that she has nothing to worry with her wealth, but little do they know how much she had to sacrifice to come up to this level as a single mother. It was not an easy journey she had to come across- there were many obstacles, criticism, challenges and discouraging remarks to put her off her track, merely just because she was a woman. There were many times people took advantage of her to get their work done, but at a slow but steady pace, she moved on with her top priorities and what she wanted to do with life. She was a person who never wanted to boast and brag about what she was doing, and highlighting herself, but instead she did a silent service by helping people and looking to their needs.

As a social service worker from her younger days, and following the footsteps of her father, Dr. Perera was always keen to help those who were less fortunate. She felt a deep sadness going through her veins as she flipped through newspapers or watched the news on TV. Everywhere poverty reigned and people were suffering. Thus up to now and also in future, her only mission is to help those who are less privileged in the best possible way she can, so that she can give hope and encouragement to their lives, and add a bit of light to their somewhat darkened lives because of poverty.

As a result of this initiative, the ‘Jeewa Foundation’ was established in 1985 to encourage, strengthen and give hope to those who feel dejected without any support. Her passion to help the less fortunate can be clearly seen, with the project which she did to commemorate her birthday on January 9, 2022, for estate workers by arranging an event which made them happy, and feel that they were not alone. The very name ‘Jeewa’ means giving life to people, and it was with this feeling her birthday celebration was also held with the charity project inclusive of meals, gift items, health demonstrations and entertainment segments to follow.

The ‘Jeewa’ foundation, also as a Social Service organization encourages underprivileged students to pursue with their higher studies, and also to be of some help for the poor and needy. Up to now and it continues with its service to the nation to rebuild and see a better future. It stands tall among other welfare organizations carrying on an independent journey of its own.

As one of their efforts to uplift the educational and financial level of the common people, Jeewa foundation along with the Sathyodaya institution conducted a training programme for both children and adults of the estate sector, under the theme of ‘I’m also a Leader’’. Apart from the lectures and training sessions, Jeewa foundation also gifted some English and Tamil books to enhance their knowledge in both languages. 100 Jack tree plants were also distributed. Pushpa Ramyani De Soyza, Chief Nurse of the National hospital, distributed face masks among those who participated, while Athula Patabandige, gifted books.

Jeewa foundation specifically extended their valuable support by bearing the full expense of bringing lecturers and speakers, including other expenses. The training programme was conducted from 10 am to 4 pm on January 9, at the Sathyodaya Educational Training Institute located in Kandy. 150 people were selected for this programme from 12 areas including Kegalle , Galaha and Kandy . Dr. F D Concy Perera, Jagath Wickramasinghe and Pushpa Ramyani De Soyza participated as special guests. The rest included Sadeesh Krishnapillai, (Lecturer, University of Jaffna, Radio Journalist, Columnist, Media traveler and sworn translator), Colonel Rathnapriya, the Head of Sathodaya Institution, and Rev. Fr Rashmi Madushanka. The Jeewa Foundation, Athula Patabandige, and Pushpa Ramyani De Soyza helped out in distributing the gift items.


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