The Seva Vanitha Army Branch was inaugurated on 12th July 1984 with the main objective of providing welfare facilities to the next of kin of war heroes who had sacrificed their lives for their Nation as well as the next of kin of war heroes who had gone missing in action as well those injured whilst defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their motherland and to provide towards the wellbeing of the patriotic serving officers soldiers and their families.
The Seva Vanitha Army Branch as provided for in the constitution of the said organization functions under the leadership of the wife of the reigning Commander of the Army, who holds office as the President of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch during the tenure of office of her Husband as the Commander of the Army. Mrs Sonia Weeratunge held office as the first President of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch and Twenty Five years down the line 11 Presidents have successfully contributed towards the growth of the organization from strength to strength in achieving its objective
The tenure of office held by the 11 successive Presidents are as follows;
|Mrs. Sonia Weeratunge
||From 12 July 1984
||to 11 Feb 1985
|Mrs. Mala Seneviratne
||From 12 Feb 1985
||to 15 Aug 1988
|Mrs. Ira Wanasinghe
||From 16 Aug 1988
||to 15 Nov 1991
|Mrs. Thilaka Waidyarathna
||From 16 Nov 1991
||to 31 Dec 1993
|Mrs. Lalitha De Silva
||From 01 Jan 1994
||to 30 Apr 1996
|Mrs. Jayanthi Daluwatta
||From 01 May 1996
||to 15 Dec 1998
|Mrs. Dilhani Weerasooriya
||From 16 Dec 1998
||to 24 Aug 2000
|Mrs. Gnana Balagalle
||From 25 Aug 2000
||to 30 Jun 2004
|Mrs. Sonia Kottegoda
||From 01 July 2004
||to 05 Dec 2005
|Mrs. Anoma Fonseka
||From 06 Dec 2005
||to 15 July 2009
|Mrs. Manjulika Jayasuriya
||From 16 July 2009 onwards
The constitution of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch provides for the membership of the organization to be comprised of the spouses of Army Officers as well as Lady Officers. The Executive committee comprises of the President, Vice President Secretary, Treasurer and Public Relations officer whilst the working committee comprising of members of the organization support the executive committee in realizing their objectives.
The Seva Vanitha Army Branch raises funds by staging Musical Shows, Plays, Sticker campaigns as well as organizes New Year fairs at which families of Army personnel are given the opportunity of purchasing goods and clothing at concessionary rates whilst at the same time providing income to the organization towards its welfare activities. Over the years hundreds of philanthropists have made contributions in cash and kind to the organization in appreciation of the sacrifices made by the war heroes.
The Seva Vanitha Branch has been, and continues to be a tower of strength to the Army, by helping the families of war heroes by providing them with Housing, Scholarship to the Children, Crutches, Artificial Limbs and Wheel chairs to the wounded in action, establishing and maintaining Pre Schools and Day Care Centers for the Children of War Heroes, providing financial aid at times of need such as at the time of natural deserters, towards medical expenses and such requirements. The members of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch from the inception had been providing the moral courage and care to the injured war heroes by visiting them in hospital, inquiring after their welfare, providing them with their basic needs and all in all providing them with the care and support during their convalescence. The Seva Vanitha Army Branch over the years not forgetting the importance of spiritual support for the speedy recovery of the wounded-in-action continued to organize religious observances such as Bhana preaching ceremonies to the injured, Dhanes and several such events to invoke blessings on the injured and their families, as well as the serving personnel especially on operational duties.
The Seva Vanitha Army Branch had also made all endeavours to provide entertainment to the injured war heroes convalescencing in hospitals and at Rana Viru Sevana by organizing musical events and visits by celeberaties such as the Sri Lankan cricket team and film and tele drama stars and distribution of gifts. The intention was to demonstrate the love and appreciation of the public towards the many sacrifices made by the war heroes, the protection of their motherland.
The Seva Vanitha Army Branch maintains welfare shops at Army Headquarters summit flats area, Manning Town and Kandalanda at which groceries and other household necessities are sold at concessionary rates to Army personnel and their families. A Bakery project under taken by the Seva Vanitha Army Branch provides the serving Army personnel with reasonably priced confectionary items for their consumption.
The Seva Vanitha Army Branch realizing the magnitude of the need for welfare requirements which had increased by leaps and bounds due to the rapid growth in the strength of the Army, and the viable solution being decentralization, in the year 1999 encouraged the establishment of the Regimental Ladies clubs under the patronage of the wife of the respective Regimental Commanders. It was also required that the Regimental Ladies Club President attends the monthly meeting of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch and works in close liaison with the executive and working committee of the Seva Vanitha Branch. Over the years the Regimental Ladies Club concept was found to be very effective and successful, in that the Regiment endeavored to assess the needs of theis own officers, soldiers and families and are not only geared provide whatever welfare facilities possible at the Regimental level but also could project their needs to the Seva Vanitha Army Branch in order to obtain their assistance. At present Twenty Two (22) Regimental Ladies Clubs are functioning effectively and successfully providing welfare facilities at Regimental level.
Two Pre Schools namely the Udupila Pre School and the Panagoda Rankete Montessori and Day Care Centre were established in the years 1998 and 1995 respectively. These Pre Schools not only provide the educational foundation to toddlers but great emphasis is also placed on character building as well as instilling self confidence and discipline at a tender age. On popular request of Army families in their areas the undermentioned Pre Schools were established on the dates mentioned herein below and are functioning to the great satisfaction of parents, students, educational unauthorities as well as the Seva Vanitha Army Brach.
|Ran Kekulu Montessori – Anuradhapura
||16 May 2001
|Viru Daru Montessori – Manning Town
||05 Sep 2001
|Viru Daru Montessori – Diyatalawa
||10 Sep 2003
|Viru Kekulu Montessori – Palle Kelle
||03 Jan 2008
|Viru Kekulu Montessori – Kosgama
||05 Jul 2008
|Ran Tharu Montessori – Galle
||21 May 2009
Altogether Five Hundred children are enrolled and obtaining Pre School education in the said montessories.
Over the years since the inception of the Seva Vanitha Army Branch altogether a total Number of 144 houses have been constructed by the Seva Vanitha Army Branch and handed over to widows and parents of deceased War Heroes as well as war heroes injured in battle. Of the total of 144 houses 52 houses had been constructed and handed over during the period 1999 to 2009. The houses have been built in the under mentioned villages.
|Karuwita Paradise Estate War Heroes Village
|Kosgama Shalawa Estate War Heroes Village
|Ambalantota Lunama War Heroes Village
|Horana Milleniya War Heroes Village
|Horana Millewa War Heroes Village
It is a world renounced phenomenon that the future of a country is in the hand of the younger generation. It also goes without saying that education is the backbone of moulding the younger generation to be responsible, useful and patriotic citizens of a country. The Seva Vanitha Army Branch mostly comprising of mothers recognizing this need had been working tirelessly over the years in providing scholarships to needly children of Army personnel, and todate 2000 children had benefited by being recipients of such scholarships.
The Seva Vanitha Army Branch has contributed monitory funds running into millions of Rupees by way of financial assistance to members of the families of war heroes requiring assistance for urgent medial surgeries, sudden adversities, personal difficulties as well as in developing skills in the fields of education and sports. Further spectacles and wheel chairs too have been distributed among mothers of war heroes.
Large quantities of food clothing and essential items had also been distributed among families of war heroes as well as civilians affected by the Tsunami on 26 December 2004 as well as due to other natural disasters from tome to time.
In addition to these services the Seva Vanitha Army Branch has promoted welfare activities that include self employment courses and donations of sewing machines to spouses of war heroes, and computer courses for children of war heroes. The Seva Vanitha Army Branch had constructed several toilets in homes of injured war heroes with special facilities to accommodate their individual needs.
The Seva Vanitha Army Branch which commenced its work as a Volunteer group of Army wives under the leadership of the then Commander’s wife Twenty Five years ago had grown from strength to strength and at present is a well established experienced organization with Twenty Two branches at the Regimental level and has proven to be an incomprehensible source of strength to the respective commanders of the Army Regimental Commanders and Field Commanders by methodically and swiftly taking over the burden of caring for the welfare of families of Army personnel KIA, MIA and the WIA as well as serving Army personnel and their families so that the Commanders at different levels of command could carry out their functions and duties with the assurance that the welfare of the troops was being looked after in the most efficient and effective manner, by the Seva Vanitha Army Branch.
The service rendered by the Seva Vanitha Army Branch is unparallel to any welfare organization, as proven by these Voluntary group of ladies who have successfully multitasked their role as wives, mothers, teaches, mentors, nurses and friends and have willingly and with great commitment and dedication contributed their time, talent and energy towards the welfare of the war heroes and their families and have helped, and continue to help immensely towards boosting of the morale of the serving officers, soldiers and their families.