Indian High Commissioner attends awards ceremony for skills training graduates

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 April 2006, 00:50 GMT]
High Commissioner of India, Ms. Nirupama Rao, Monday handed out certificates of completion of courses in embroidery, cooking, catering and stitching to Tsunami Victims from the Eastern Province conducted as part of the Sustainable Livelihood Project held at the Academy of Adult Education for Women, Kalubowila, said a press release issued by the Indian Embassy in Colombo Monday.

Full text of the press release follows:

Rao attends Sustainable Livelihood Project
H.E. Mrs. Nirupama Rao, High Commissioner of India, was the chief guest at the awards ceremony of the Sustainable Livelihood Project for Tsunami Victims from the Eastern Province held at the Academy of Adult Education for Women, Kalubowila, at the invitation of Deshabandu Jezima Ismail, the President Emeritus and guiding force of the Academy of Adult Education for Women. At this morning’s function, certificates of completion of course were handed out to around 30 tsunami-affected female participants from Eastern Sri Lanka. The course imparted valuable skills in embroidery, cooking, catering and stitching geared to making the young women financially independent.

Deshabandu Jezima Ismail in her address to the gathering, thanked the High Commissioner of India for the assistance provided by the High Commission to the Academy of Adult Education for Women. She outlined the role of the Academy in providing skill training to regular batches of tsunami-affected women of all communities from Eastern Sri Lanka. She also spoke of the efforts she was presently making to provide housing for tsunami victims in the East.

High Commissioner H.E. Smt. Nirupama Rao in her speech to the gathering, began by speaking of how she viewed Eastern Sri Lanka as a microcosm of Sri Lanka itself with its mix of all the communities. She spoke of her many visits there and her interactions with the people of the region. She expressed her deep appreciation for the valuable contribution made by Deshbandu Jezima Ismail and the Sustainable Livelihood Project for Tsunami Victims towards the rehabilitation and re-integration of tsunami-affected persons. She expressed willingness on behalf of the Government of India to engage in further grassroots projects to succour and assist tsunami-affected persons, whether in the sector of housing or livelihood generation. She called upon the Project authorities to also examine the possibility of credit and micro-credit provision on relaxed terms by Indian banks operating in Sri Lanka to deserving persons to start their own entrepreneurial operations.

High Commissioner Rao recalled that in her earlier Ambassadorial posting in Peru, she had come across an unusual and effective self-help tool employed by women of the poorer sections – the popular kitchen. A cluster of families would ensure that cooking for all the families on any given day would be done at one place by some of the ladies, thereby freeing the rest of the ladies to engage in remunerative employment elsewhere. High Commissioner spoke her warm appreciation for the craftwork done by the girl students which was on display at the function and suggested that these girls could also utilize various such ideas and concepts in order to realize their full potential for leading productive and fulfilling lives.

High Commissioner Rao ended by again congratulating the students on their completion of the course and the Principal of the Academy for Adult Education for Women, Mrs. Abitha Muthalif on the invaluable role of the Academy in empowering women and in preparing young women to lead useful and enriching lives.


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