Discovering the Leader in Me (Article sent by a Student- 2013 Batch)
Leadership can have a broad
meaning. The ability to take charge of a group of people, the skill of handling
people or the will-power to take the responsibility when things gone wrong can
be considered as leadership.
Do we have the leadership skills ? Most of the Sri
Lankans may not have the leadership gene in their pool. Situation among school
children and university students is even worse. We are a backward nation
lacking necessary courage to take risks, admit our mistakes and develop our
personalities. Something had to be done. We had to treat the root-course; our
youth. "Leadership and Positive Attitudes Development Program for
University Students" aka "Leadership Program" was introduced as
a cure for the above problem.
I was privileged to have
selected for the Leadership Program 'cause I was selected for the university
entrance based on the advanced level examination 2012. When the Leadership
Program was first introduced for the students of A/L batch 2010, most of the
people looked it with suspicion. I myself shared the same attitude towards it.
The main reason for the lack of warm welcome was that the program was to be
conducted in military camps with the help of military instructors and in
military style disciplined environment. Although Sri Lankan military was
venerated for their service in defeating the Tamil Tiger Terrorists, civil
society preferred to keep a safe distance from them.
No parent was willing to
send their children to attend to this so called military training. The first
batch was entered before starting universities in 2011. Attendance was made
virtually compulsory and the only way out is to give a medical report saying
he/she is unfit for training. First batch had to undergo 21 days of training
for which the feedback of students was mixed. Students were not liked to have
stressful physical training and drill practices but they have liked other
activities and lectures.
Now two programs passed in
two years. The content of the program was gradually improved. Ministry of
Higher Education and the military learned their lessons so I was hoping for a
better program than the first two. I was selected to the School of Electrical
and Mechanical Engineering Gannoruwa, Peradeniya.
I've never been inside an
army camp before for an extended period of time so I was really nervous. Being
away from home was not an issue for me but with all the reassurances, the
feeling of loneliness burned me from inside out.
Gannoruwa army camp was neat
and tidy. The registration process went smoothly. We were assigned billets for
accommodation. There were 259 students, two third of them were girls. Students
were divided in to two companies; Alpha and Bravo. Each company was subdivided
again in to four platoons and each platoon was divided into three sections for
ease of control.
We had to adapt to rigorous
time table. We woke up at about 4.00 AM in the morning. Activities ranging from
physical training, drill practice, lectures, sport activities and aesthetic
session were scheduled from dawn to midnight. We had less than four hours of
sleep per day for the entire three week period.
It is true to say that I've
learned almost all the things on how to be a more organized and structured
person. Our physical, mental and social skills were gradually improved. We were
taught the best practice in even doing the basic day to day chores ranging from
arranging beds to cleaning the lavatory. Dining room etiquette, how to dress
properly and even how to greet a person were taught.
The best thing I got from
this training program is the way how to be a good leader as well as how to be a
good follower. We may not be a leader always. Sometimes we have to obey someone
and do the duties. I befriended with many people coming from all over the
country from different economic or social backgrounds and from different races
Since we wore the same type of dress and we were given the same
training, accommodation and food, a sense of harmony and equalism were
prevailed among us. All of the students regardless of the gender were bonded like
a band of brothers.
We have extended our bond
even to the officers and other staff of the Gannoruwa army camp. They were like
our brothers and sisters. Although they addressed us "Mister" and
"Miss", I'm sure in their hearts they have felt us like their own
kith and kin. Their level of tolerance was admirable. To tell the truth, we
were always not in our best behavior but the staff tolerated it even they got
scolded by their superiors.
Our safety was the priority
of the officers and other staff. All the physical activities were bearable and
our safety was assured. We we not forced to undergo even a single day of
physical training or drill practices. Anyone can fallout from the above
activities if they are not fit. Medical facilities were readily available at
the camp. Kandy and Peradeniya hospitals were on full alert for any serious
medical conditions and we were to be received VIP treatments there.
The most heartbreaking thing
happened to us at the camp was the sudden demise of our friend, Lahiru Sandaruwan.
He had undiscovered medical condition which lead to his death. We we really
shocked and tormented but faced that grave situation with courage. We were
crying at our hearts but putting a brave face in the midst of this situation. I
can assure you that this training was not responsible of causing Lahiru's
death. We did religious activities for him and even went to his house to pay
him our last respect.
Last but not least, it is my
duty to appreciate the leadership given by the commandant of the School of
Electrical and Mechanical Engineering - Gannoruwa, Lieutenant Colonel
S.A.Pathirana. He was like a father to us. We were always safe in his hands. He
steered the leadership course in the midst of grate obstacles and hardships.
His leadership qualities were highlighted when Lahiru Sandaruwan passed away in
the middle of the training program. The way he handled that crisis alone can be
a guidebook for a future leader.
Everything was a challenge
to me. Waking up in the early morning, ice-cold showers, sleeping in a
dormitory, speaking in front of a large crowd, drill practice, and mostly handling more than thirty unruly
students when I got the chance to be the leader of the platoon for a day. When
I look back, I can't even believe I've done all those things.
In conclusion, I may say
that this leadership program has changed me for good. It revealed a hidden part
of myself. Now I can endure the hardships of life, face challenges, confront my
fears and be more structured person. This is one of the best things ever
happened to me. I recommend this training course to every prospective
university student. If you get the chance to participate in the leadership
program, take it because it may be the turning point in your whole life.
what the bullshit.who wrote this post?i participate it last year.its really good for having fun.thats it.can you imagine how much government is waisting for this bullshit to give us fun?dont be silly we are becoming debtors day buy day.you all are having dream and having fun.we should make a changebecause we are the future of this countrywe should stop the waist.think about itReplyDelete
lots of words to learn :DReplyDelete
The main idea of this training is to dissuade freshers from joining JVP in universities. It is a good move but the amount of money wasted in this program is enormous.ReplyDelete
Absolutely correct brother. I agree with youReplyDelete
mchanla campus gihillama balahalla.api jvp nemei.but waradi deta ka gahanawa.etakota jvp kiyala lable karala eka amataka karawanawa.api jvp ekatawat katawat kade yan na.waradinam apia kaurut waradiReplyDelete
say no to pmc every one.make a srong noice.api nam dan canpus.but apita a hinda kakkumak tiyanawa oyala a canpus ekata ena eka rakala denna.oyagr malli nangi mage malli nangi ekata ei issarahata eka api rakala denna ona.api godak ayata na mny owata.api igena gannet amaruwen.api me ka gahanne a salliwalata ganna unta pain gahala elawala ekata twa duppat lamayekwa ganna.a lamayata anagatayak hadagena ihalata yanna.salli tiyana kena kohoma hari kara gani.eka hamotama kiyala denna.kauruwat kiyana paliyata nemei thaman hithala balanna api me ka gahanne apita yamak ganna nemei.api dan campus apita aulak na.oyala wenuwenuiq api me ka gahanne.a hinda try to courage us.help to promote this ideasReplyDelete
eththa kathawa.agree with you brotherDelete
This leadership program is a kind of brainwash given for the freshers to obey administration. The universities must never be become army camps because the undergraduates must be free in body & mind to carryout their academic work as well as extracurricular activities without any interference.ReplyDelete
Kawda thawa leadership yanna enne.???ReplyDelete
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