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Home EFC News Deshabandu Manique Gunaratne takes a bow at this year’s Zonta Awards
Deshabandu Manique Gunaratne takes a bow at this year’s Zonta Awards PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 10 June 2014 13:32


EFC proudly celebrates with its staff member Deshabandu Manique Gunaratne on her being honoured by  the Inaugural Special Award  at the  Zonta Woman of Achievement Awards , held on Sunday May 25 at the Galadari Hotel. The Zonta Woman of Achievement Awards is designed to honour the women who have excelled in their respective fields for their genuine contributions towards interests of the society. Addressing the audience the President of Zonta Club 1 Colombo and Chairperson of the Woman of Achievement Award 2014 committee, Professor Chandrika Wijeyratne stated that Zonta’s project for this biennium is “Building bridges-Peace through women” and this she feels is a project that would promote the process of national reconciliation. 


Ms. Gunaratne is currently working as an Executive Trainer attached to the EFC’s ICT Training Centre for the visually impaired. Since 2009  Manique and the EFC ICT Training  Center has provided IT Training to more than  150 visually impaired persons from all walks of life. ICT Training was also extended to the north and east to train tamil speaking vision impaired persons affected from the war.  Despite being visually impaired, Manique is well known for her outstanding and tireless work on encouraging the persons with disabilities and developing them in order to obtain employment. She believes that with a little encouragement & guidance they too have the capability to be a part of the labour force. Drawing on her own experience Manique said, “do not have any reservation about the work that persons with disabilities could do. They are good or even better than the persons with not yet with a disability. All what you have to do is change your attitude from sympathy to empathy, dependence to independence, segregation to integration and hidden to open to create a disable friendly environment with dignity and justice for all.”   

 It is worth mentioning that this is not the instance of Manique having made the EFC proud. She is a holder of 07 national and 01 international awards for her work in brining IT education to the visually impaired. Manique was also awarded the “Keerthi Sri Lanka Abhimani Deshabandhu” in last February 2014 by the National Peace Association. This is the third highest national award in Sri Lanka for meritorious service.  Speaking on her accomplishments Manique stated that “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to EFC for making me what I am today. I did not achieve this success overnight. Life has not been a bed of roses for me. I achieved all these because I strongly believe in the ‘5D’s’ – dream, desire, determination, dedication and discipline”.

Commenting on Manique’s achievements the Deputy Director General of the EFC, Mr. Kanishka Weerasinghe said “The EFC is extremely proud of Manique’s achievements considering her contribution to train and assist persons with disabilities to be placed in employment. Manique also possesses many other facets and attributes which were made use of to promote the interests of the beneficiaries. She recently successfully negotiated with the Curtain University of Technology - Australia to collaborate with the EFC ICT Training Center to offer CISSCO courses on Information and Technology essentials for the visually impaired .”

Manique has set a great precedent to e society by overcoming the worst difficulties in life not by falling apart but by converting them into opportunities through which she assists and supports others in similar circumstances. Her determination to overcome all obstacles, herself confidence and her absolute commitment to her work provide an example to all of us at the EFC. We are truly proud of her achievements, and wish her all the very best in her future endeavors.


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 June 2014 10:45