Sri Lanka Army-managed Ranaviru Apparels Industries at both Yakkala and Alawwa which have now gained international standards after their simple founding in the 1990s, once again saluted their workforce, mainly the differently able War Heroes for their excellent contribution to the phenomenal growth of the industry in the year 2013 during a glittering ceremony at the BMICH on Tuesday (22).
Amid a distinguished gathering of senior officers and industry magnates, headed by Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army as the Chief Guest, the awards ceremony presented laurels to 2 officers and 104 other ranks who did exceptionally well in the field of production and new innovations in the year 2013.
The annual prize-giving ceremony, intent on further motivating the workforce to reach the dizzy heights and encouraging fellow-workers to follow suit, was organized by Brigadier E.M.G Wickremanayake, Centre Commandant, Ranaviru Apparels Industries on the directions of Major General Prasad Samarasinghe, Chairman, Board of Management, Ranaviru Apparels Industries, comprised of several garment industry stalwarts from the civil sector who serve both factories on honorary basis.
Both these factories, now in the process of manufacturing more than 70% of uniform requirements of the Army, having entered also into the production of qualitative T-shirts, shirts, trousers, sportswear for sale in other competitive private sector markets, have won many commendations, including the ‘Taiki Akimoto 5S Excellence Special Award,’ presented by the Japanese 5S Guru Prof. Sciichi Fujitha himself and his team.
Tuesday’s awards ceremony at the BMICH commenced soon after the arrival of the Chief Guest, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, Commander of the Army, who was received by Major General Prasad Samarasinghe, Chairman, Management Board, Ranaviru Apparels, flanked by Ranaviru Apparels Centre Commandant and senior officers.
Lighting of the traditional oil lamp, one-minute silence in memory of fallen War Heroes, a video presentation on the progress of the Ranaviru Apparels and the welcome speech afterwards, set the stage ready for distribution of prizes and certificates to the achievers in the year 2013.
Minutes after that the Chief Guest, Lieutenant General Daya Ratnayake, several former Commanders of the Army and Directors of the Board of Management, Ranaviru Apparels were invited on stage to appreciate efficiency of those War Heroes in productivity and exceptional skills by distributing awards.
Each recipient received Rs 25,000 as incentives plus a proficiency certificate.
Presentation of awards followed a brief speech of the Chief Guest, in which the Commander spoke high of the achievements of silently serving differently able soldiers, who behind the curtains are promoting the national economy of the country.
‘Determination shown by these soldiers who sacrificed their sweat and blood in the battlefield has not decreased, instead they have turned out to be productive citizens in our country’s march towards prosperity. They are setting an example to the young people of this country,’ the Commander commented.
Lieutenant General Ratnayake during his tenure as Chairman, Board of Management, RanaviruApparels when he was the Chief of Staff, introduced employees’ adherence to the famous 5S Concept and set up a new visionary working environment to both factories, devising new strategies for promotion of the production process in a milieu of greenery free from air pollution.
In the year 1993, with the support of the Training Institute for Garments Industry, the project for training of disable soldiers was founded after the need to do so, was identified by the then Director of Rehabilitation, Brigadier (retd) H.I.K Fernando and implemented with the blessings of the then Commander of the Army.
The foundation-stone laying ceremony for construction of the Army’s first-ever establishment of this nature, Yakkala Ranaviru Apparels took place on March 27, 1996 in a 5 acre land, donated by the philanthropist, Mr David M. Peiris who later on also sold five more acres for a nominal value, considering the noble cause of the project.
With 25 machines, the production process, kicked off in August 1997 after 60 disable soldiers, interested in garment industry, were screened, mobilized and referred for further training, thanks to the patronage of the pioneering, Tri Star Apparel Exports of Mr Kumar Devapura and the State Training Institute for Garment Industry.
At present, the Ranaviru Apparels at Alawwa, produces 1000 uniform sets per day and expects to go into other areas of production. In addition, the factory is in the process of producing one lakh of folding mattresses to the Army on order. The factory also has entered the track kit production process, following increased demands of different regiments.
In 2012, over 460 differently able soldiers at Yakkala factory competed with the country’s 95 leading garment manufactures and won the 5S Excellence Special Award.
To this date, both these factories, supported by the funds granted by Ministry of Defence and Urban Development for purchase of most modern machinery and the donation of a day’s salary by all members of the Army, have received the National Productivity Award in 2011, Silver Medal in National Green Awards in 2012 and several other written commendations. More than 1400 disable soldiers are serving both these factories as at today.
Intermittent colourful entertaining and dancing features brought amusement to the occasion at the BMICH and the event came to a close with the vote of thanks and the national anthem.
Several past Commanders, Directors of the Ranaviru Apparels Board of Management, distinguished invitees and a large gathering witnessed the award ceremony.