10th July 2021 02:20:59 Hours
The Army Seva Vanitha Unit (ASVU), a stimulant and a driving force that looks after the well-being and welfare of the next of kin of fallen/ wounded and those serving War Heroes of the Army and civil staffers while operating as a parallel welfare wing, run by spouses of senior Army Officers, turns 37 years of age on Monday (12 July 2021).
The Army Seva Vanitha, founded on 12 July 1984 in accordance with provisions as stipulated in the Government Gazette No 10 of 1982 during its life-span of 37 years with its Regimental Seva Vanitha Units, established in the year 1998, has to-date played the role of a "second mother" to all Army families, children and spouses of fallen and wounded patriotic War Heroes and stood as a tower of strength to the Army by way of providing them with Housing, Scholarships to Children, Crutches, Artificial Limbs and Wheelchairs to the wounded in action, conduct of pre Schools and Day Care Centers for Children of War Heroes and children with special needs, financial aid at times of need for house-building, medical care, natural disasters, and more importantly, the moral courage and care to the injured war heroes by visiting them in hospital with basic needs, spiritual projects for well-being and attending to the care and support during their convalescence.
This year's 37th anniversary commemoration, organized on a low-scale due to health concerns on Monday (12) is to be spearheaded by Mrs Sujeewa Nelson, incumbent 15th President of the ASVU and ASVU membership under the aegis of General Shavendra Silva, Chief of Defence Staff and Commander of the Army who has all the time stood behind the ASVU for its endeavours to better the lives of all beneficiaries.
On Monday (12), the ASVU's 37th anniversary commemoration at the Army HQ commences with the release of 'Mehewaraka Asiriya' (Glory of Service) anniversary magazine that relates the three-decade long saga of the ASVU and its invaluable services, where the Army Chief, General Shavendra Silva graces as the day's Chief Guest. Mrs Sujeewa Nelson, President, ASVU, flanked by a few Senior ASVU members would present the maiden copy to the Chief Guest. Symbolizing its continued welfare roles, 10 students, belonging to families in Regimental Seva Vanitha Units will receive laptop computers symbolically from the day's Chief Guest on the recommendations of respective Regiments. Award of one laptop to a student on the occasion due to health restrictions symbolized the gift of those educationally relevant accessories to all ten.
Adding another feature to the anniversary itinerary, ASVU ladies inclusive of Chairpersons of all Regimental Seva Vanitha Units will entertain 150 patients in the Wards 5 & 6 at Mulleriyawa Mental Health Hospital to a special lunch treat on the same day (12).
One of its most recent projects, the Seeduwa Intermediate Care Centre for COVID-19 patients with 1200 beds drew huge public commendation as it was done in less than 10 days for the benefit of civilians.
Mrs Sonia Weeratunge held office as the first President of the Army Seva Vanitha Unit (1984-1985) and thirty seven years down the line 15 Presidents have successfully contributed towards the growth of this esteemed organization from strength to strength in achieving its objectives.The Army Seva Vanitha Unit 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 fallen and injured War Heroes.
The Army Seva Vanitha Unit maintains welfare shops at Army Headquarters and elsewhere in summit flats area, Manning Town and Kendalanda at which groceries and other household necessities are sold at concessionary rates to Army personnel and their families. A Bakery project undertaken by the Army Seva Vanitha Unit provides the serving Army personnel with reasonably priced confectionary items for their consumption.
In addition to these services, the Army Seva Vanitha Unit 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 Army Seva Vanitha Unit had constructed several toilets in homes of injured war heroes with special facilities to accommodate their individual needs.
The constitution of the Army Seva Vanitha Unit 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.
Mrs. Sonia Weeratunge, Mrs Mala Seneviratne, Mrs. Ira Wanasinghe, Mrs. Thilaka Waidyarathna, Mrs. Lalitha De Silva, Mrs. Jayanthi Daluwatta, Mrs. Dilhani Weerasooriya, Mrs. Gnana Balagalle, Mrs Sonia Kottegoda, Mrs. Anoma Fonseka, Mrs. Manjulika Jayasuriya, Mrs. Damayanthi Ratnayake, Mrs. Nayana De Silva and Mrs Chandrika Senanayake were the ASVU Presidents from 1984 up until Mrs Sujeewa Nelson was appointed as the President in August 2019.