20th January 2018 11:07:02 Hours
In what could be described as one of the most rare phenomenal occurrences in any known Army, a group of more than 171 differently-able Army War Heroes upon successful completion of training in specific vocations to qualify for the well-recognized National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) standards received their certificates Friday (19) evening in a glittering ceremony, headed by Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Army during a special ceremony at the Defence Services College auditorium in Colombo 2.
Sri Lanka's Vocational Training Authority (VTA) in close cooperation with the Army-managed Ranaviru Resources Centre (RRC) at Hekitta, Wattala, the state-of-the-art training centre for disabled War Heroes of the Army, conducted those vocational training modules covering spheres, such as Domestic Appliance Repairing, Carpentry (buildings), Electric Wiring, Plumbing, Computer Hardware Technology, Computer Application Assistant Course, Aluminium Industry, Hair Dressing and Beauty Culture, Three-Wheeler and Motorbike Repairing, Landscaping and Mobile Phone Repairing, etc.
Those certificate recipients obtained their training at Hekiththa - Wattala Ranaviru Resources Centre (RRC), the state-of-the art training centre for disabled War Heroes of the Army, where a few more than 388 disabled War Heroes are under training to reach the final phases of the NVQ (Levels 2,3 & 4) before they read for the degree level.
Commander of the Army, Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake who attached importance to the training of those War Heroes graced the occasion as the Chief Guest at the invitation of Brigadier Shantha Thirunavukarasu, Director Rehabilitation at the Army Headquarters.
Friday's certificate awarding ceremony was coloured by dancing and entertaining features. The Chief Guest, Commander of the Army congratulated the recipients of certificates.
Vocational Training Authority (VTA) together with the coordination of the Ranaviru Resources Centre (RRC), has been instrumental in conducting those vocational training modules since its inception in the year 2013.
According to the RRC records, 127 disabled soldiers are currently following basic NVQ courses and 261 more disabled soldiers are reaching the final level 3 and 4 of the above- mentioned NVQ courses.
Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission of Sri Lanka has introduced the National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) system under 7 Levels and the NVQ 7th level is equivalent to the Bachelor's degree qualification.
The realization of this mega project after acquisition of 3.5 acres land plot from the old Leprosy Hospital complex lying unattended and neglected was taken up for construction on 12 March 2012.
A total of 101 out of 171 differently-able War Heroes symbolically received those National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) certificates during the ceremony on Friday (19).
Eng Dr Lionel Pintoo, Chairman VTA, Brigadier Manjula Manatunga, Commandant , RRC and several Senior Officers joined distribution of certificates among soldiers who have performed exceptionally well in different spheres of NVQ curriculum.
This ‘Ranaviru Sampath Kendraya’, an exclusive project, perhaps unheard among any of the armed forces in the world, was established to provide hundreds of disable War Heroes with various community-oriented vocational training in trade spheres, like motor mechanism, Carpentry, Computer Hardware, Information Technology, electronics, electric work, etc under the direct supervision of the Army Directorate of Rehabilitation.
The historic transformation of the venue, from an abandoned hospital to be a fountain of resources for the benefit of war veterans who are leading the rest of their lives with varying forms of disabilities, added a new dimension to the process of recuperation and rehabilitation.
Renovation and reconstruction of this land with building complex was carried out by the Corps of Engineer Services (CES) Regiment and it cost the Army about Rs 60 million upon total completion of the project, according to the Directorate of Rehabilitation.
To-date, the RRC has provided vocational training to 2 Officers and 1174 disable War Heroes of the Army.
In the future, qualified disabled War Heroes are expected to follow courses in Bakery and Leather products, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner repairing, Tailoring, Dress making and designing and Computer Auto-Cad technology.