By Lakshman I. Keerthisinghe
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time”
Thomas Alva Edison- US Inventor.
Recently, Shukra Munawwar, from Sudharma Vidyalaya in a little village in Katugoda, Galle made history when she won the Two million rupee prize on Sirasa TV’s Lakshapathi programme, Shukra said she had taken part in the programme to secure a laptop computer for her online studies. Viewers were surprised when she demonstrated her depth of knowledge of Sri Lankan culture, tradition, heritage and Buddhism, and praise was heaped on her in social Media. When she recited ‘Guttila Kavya’, most viewers were moved to tears. She attributed her vast knowledge of Sri Lankan culture to her penchant for reading. She said she was following in her father’s footsteps. She said she felt sorry for students like her who did not have the means to follow online studies and expressed her willingness to help them. She also stressed the need to empower women. When Shukra Munawwar made it in the Sri Lankan version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire, she brought all Sri Lankans together in one joyous celebration. It was not just her sincerity, but her candid and cheerful demeanour that captured hearts across the divide. It was her story, her talent, her skill and her determination.
It was reported that Shukra was felicitated at her alma mater, Sudarma College. The event was held under the auspices of Group Director of Electronic Media Business of Capital Maharaja Group. Ten students who performed well at the G.C.E. Ordinary Level examination in Galle were presented with laptops as a mark of recognition for Shukra Munawwar’s achievement . Thus Shukra has brought happiness to many of her school mates. Upon the request of the principal, the Capital Maharaja Group had agreed to improve infrastructure facilities at the school including those related to drinking water.
Shukra became an icon at national level. Indeed, her knowledge she acquired through voracious reading at early age is amazing. People from all walks of life irrespective of their ethnic identities appreciated her knowledge wholeheartedly and saw her victory as their own due to her pleasant personality and admirable qualities and more importantly the way she looks at things around her with a broad view even at her young age.