First Lady Ioma Rajapaksa presenting an award while Army Seva Vanitha Unit President Sujeewa Nelson looks on.
The freedom we enjoy today was reinforced through the sacrifice of lives, limbs, eyes and blood of the brave sons of our Motherland. It is worthwhile to recall that these invaluable sacrifices have left some of our young lives, confined either to a bed or a wheelchair. It is the sacred obligation of the Nation to look after these gallant men, women and their families. The differently-abled War Heroes of the Sri Lanka Army is among the prime concerns of the Sri Lanka Army Seva Vanitha Unit (ASVU) headed by its President Sujeewa Nelson.
Brave Hearts Project
The ‘Brave Hearts Project’ was initiated as a brainchild of the former President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and the present Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, and the former Defence Secretary, and the incumbent President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the objective of looking after those valiant War Heroes during the remainder of their lifespan since they remain critically injured in the battlefield, necessitating someone else’s assistance for sustenance. This noble concept for care and wellness was finally realised on September 17, 2009 during the tenure of the then Army Commander.
The stepping-stone for this noble concept was realised with the inauguration of the Abhimansala-1 in a five-acre plot of state land overlooking the picturesque Nuwarawewa tank in Anuradhapura on July 26, 2011, where some 52 differently-abled War Heroes were to be housed and looked after till the last breath of their lives as many of them needed sophisticated therapeutic care. The Army Seva Vanitha Unit, shouldering this national obligation by constructing the Abhimansala II dedicatedly through its own funds at Kamburupitiya on November 10, 2012 succeeded in providing a well-equipped shelter to one more batch of 48 inmates for the rest of their lives. The third phase of the same Brave Hearts Project, the Abhimansala III, to house some more permanently wounded War Heroes at Pangolla, Ibbagamuwa became functional on April 25, 2014 accommodating 52 more brave sons of the soil.
From the inception of the Brave Hearts Project, the Army Seva Vanitha Unit has been at the forefront of providing those Abhimansala wellness resorts cum rehabilitation centres with all possible facilities, comfort, medical aids, entertainment, etc while doing everything to keep those brave sons in high spirits and robust, away from their beloved ones. The Army Seva Vanitha Unit has been instrumental in organising multi-faceted projects interacting with outside patriots and organisations in order
to uplift their morale while under recuperation and rehabilitation, promoting comradeship between civilians and these brave soldiers as well as closely inquiring into the needs of their families. All those gestures were meant to keep up the notion of their belonging to the Army, society and the Motherland at large, so that they are never forgotten and not indebted.
HOUSE CONSTRUCTION FOR DEFENDERS
House construction for Army personnel is one of the colossal projects initiated by the Army Seva Vanitha Unit. The projects aim to fulfil the housing requirements of the disabled soldiers and families of the fallen and soldiers missing in action during the war for peace. Construction of houses for them and care for their well-being after injury since they have completely set aside their personal comfort and dedicated themselves to a greater cause is, therefore, the most important project for the Army Seva Vanitha Unit and it is committed to spearheading this national endeavour with vigour by building more and more fully-fledged houses in every part of the country.
Likewise, the Army Seva Vanitha Unit provides manpower and material assistance, financial grants and other necessary aids to build new houses, complete half-done houses and improve infrastructure facilities of the existing houses of the soldiers in service, fallen War Heroes, the disabled or those who went missing in action, including the civil staff of the Army. The Army Seva Vanitha Unit, taking the lead in this regard, has been coordinating with all Regimental Headquarters of the Sri Lanka Army with the intention of making their dream of a quality house come true. The manpower assistance of regimental troops for such constructions was readily forthcoming, providing an impressive impetus to the ASVU house construction projects.
The Army Seva Vanitha Unit prioritises the supply of best medical care for the wellbeing of soldiers and their beloved ones, considering it as one of the ASVU’s leading projects.
The Army Seva Vanitha Unit frequently visits military hospitals to ensure that all facilities and medical needs are intact to provide the best of the best and high standard medical treatment to the soldiers who remain hospitalised due to battle casualties or otherwise. Also, the project is slated to provide mobility aids and accessories, wheelchairs, artificial limbs and other medical equipment.
The project further extends to provide medical cost and financial aids for such treatments, special medical needs as well as counselling services for soldiers and their beloved ones when and where necessary. In order to sustain the mental robust and emotional balance of ailing and wounded soldiers, the Army Seva Vanitha Unit organises sermons and ‘Bhakthi Geetha’ programmes regularly on special days and during Vesak and Poson Poya Days.
Transcending stereotype welfare of Army personnel, the Army Seva Vanitha Unit has risen to the need, well-equipped and determined to reach greater new heights as unmatched and unforgettable memories about them would remain etched in our hearts for generations to come.
The Army Seva Vanitha Unit since its humble beginnings has been an inspiring strength and a catalyst behind the tireless role and tasks of the Sri Lanka Army, and needless to state, it has emerged as a driving force of untiring ladies to be reckoned with as a parallel stimulus.
Courtesy - dailynews.lk