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08/01/2013

Sarvodaya Sharmadana Movement

Ms Keiko Kiyama, Secretary General of JEN, and Mr.Tomoo Nasuda, Administration and Finance Officer for JEN in Sri Lanka,and I went to Moratuwa to meet a profound and a pioneer social worker in the evening of Monday 22 July 2013.

We were anxious to meet this distinguished stature of our time. When we arrived at his residence, we were warmly welcomed by him and his dear wife. He was in his national attire. He is a humble person by nature and, always stood for integrity. His life style was admired and commended by the people of our country as it had a major impact on the people who were downtrodden. In his young age, he was a teacher by profession. His ability to meet life challenges and the exemplary ways of solving problems of day-to-day lives helped and encouraged most disadvantaged people to build up confidence and stand up on their feet. Let me introduce this well-known gentleman, Dr. A. T. Ariyarante, founder of “Sarvodaya Sharmadana Movement”. 

Dr.Ariyaratne began “Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement” in the year 1958. “Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement” is a non-governmental, and a non-profit making people’s Organization which is currently having offices in 34 districts and serving in 15,000 villages, in Sri Lanka.

The word “Sarvodaya” was taken originally from the vision Mahatma Gandhi had i.e., “better lives for all”. “Sarva” means “all”; “Udaya” means “awakening”; and “Sharamadana” means sharing one’s labour (energy)”. The vision of Sarvodaya is to eradicate poverty from the people by sharing the resources to awaken the lives of the poor. Having this great vision in mind, they began the mission of uplifting the living standards of the deprived people in Sri Lanka. “Sarvodaya” has identified many needs that liberate the under privileged people. The goal is to fulfill the basic needs that will support to upgrade the living standards of the under privileged people of this country.

Sarvodaya is supporting the villages to be “Grama Swarajya” means ‘self-governed’. Sarvodaya has implemented 16 main units to accomplish their vision and have introduced many activities that have already benefitted many people to come up from their dire situations. Out of these 16 units, the unit called “5R Unit” has impressed the people in a greater way. It consist five meaningful words, i.e., Relief, Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Reconciliation and Reawakening. This Unit had been instrumental to empower and restore the quality of life in the war affected areas in Sri Lanka, especially in the Northern and Eastern provinces.

Administration Officer/Jonathan Rupasinghe

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August 1, 2013 in Sri Lanka |