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Sri Lanka Saukyadana Movement meet brave hearts

Sri Lanka Saukyadana Movement meet brave hearts

May 18, 2012  12:28 pm

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  For nearly three decades Sri Lanka has experienced immense pressure and fear of war. Peace has dawned on the island as a result of tremendous sacrifice of soldiers and armed forces. They have sacrificed their limbs, eyesight, mental well being and some, their entire lives for the benefit of our mother land.

April is a month of celebrations for most Sri Lankans, but not for those physically challenged military personnel. They have been, confined to beds or wheel chairs for long periods of time. The Special Task Unit (STU) of Sri Lanka Saukyadana Movement (SLSM) took a unique initiative in paying a visit to Ranaviru Sevana at Ragama during this Avurudu Season.

The Sri Lanka Saukyadana Movement is a non-governmental organization dedicated to uplift the healthcare of Sri Lankans, which was founded by Dr. Vajiranath Lakshman De Silva in March 1960 with the intention of providing free first aid during major events and functions island-wide.

The Special Task Unit was formed recently, especially with the involvement of graduates and undergraduates of University of Colombo, together with other volunteers and professionals in various fields.

The Ranaviru Sevana is a house of hope and rehabilitation to the otherwise desperate but brave service personnel. This noble institute is run by a truly dedicated staff with the support of the Army High Command and the Ministry Of Defense.

The event took place on the 20th of April with the participation of about 50 members of STU and SLSM.  Ranaviru Sevana is a place with a nicely landscaped garden and well kept wards which accommodate brave war heroes who have been plunged into misery by the dreadful war.

The objective of this event was to converse with the war heroes to feed their mental status and to give them moral support despite the forlorn situations they are in. In addition, the members of the STU along with a music troupe entertained them with songs, which the residents found helpful in melting their stress away. In spite of their physical disabilities some even performed dances to the melodies played. For a moment they were able to put aside all their trouble and enjoy with others and it was absolutely heart rendering to see them enjoying our efforts.

All the members of STU spent few hours at each ward in conversation with the residents, which was heart warming for the visitors, listening to them relating their horrendous experiences in the battle field and their acts of bravery and courage. It almost brought tears to our eyes when listening to how awfully some of them had lost their limbs, their voice and everything else on behalf of this land. Most residents had scars left on their skin flashing those unpleasant memories of terrorist attacks and some were not able to raise themselves from their beds. It was heart breaking to see how once brave and strong men appeared to be in painful situations where they could do nothing but lie down numb far from the outside world.

What we really value and appreciate is you visiting us and talking to us. Its not the material you have brought today but the affection and the feeling of care that means the most were the very words of a resident who happened to be a young gentleman of just 20 years of age. In spite of the terrible path their lives had taken their destiny they never once failed to smile. It amazed us to see how well they handled those painful memories and how strong they were when sharing them with the visitors.

This visit was an eye-opener. The few hours we spent with those true heroes surely brought us all to a sad realization of how little they had been attended to and how detached we had been from them as the rest of the community and how much they yearn for it. The least we could do as citizens of Sri Lanka is to visit these young men who have done irrevocable service to our country, and show them how utterly grateful we are of their sacrifices. We Sri Lankans, all of us owe them a huge debt and though it is impossible to pay it back, a friendly visit will indeed give it a sense of paying gratitude to these brave hearts!