Lakshapathi Winner Shukra’s Message
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.
Of course one must not forget to recognise the role her mother played for the glorious moment of her beloved daughter. Of cause, Shukra’s dedication and endless efforts should be appreciated but her mother’s sacrifices in all facets of life are of paramount importance than Shukra’s since she single-handedly faced all obstacles and impediments ahead of her in order to produce such a vibrant and well-disciplined daughter who was able to attract millions of hearts towards her. Thus, the success of Shukra is not success of her alone. It is a collective effort of a family under the purview of strict mother. Amid, many hardships heaped with financial constraints, the mother had to raise her daughter with freedom, sense of responsibility and adherence to ethics. It doesn’t mean that her father did nothing to his daughter. Obviously, the role of her father also must be appreciated as she said her father was an inspiration to her. In fact, Shukra’s father was the guide of her dreams by the time her mother was the guardian.
It is seen that the role of a mother who broke all forms of illusion among many protagonists of feminism who keep raising their voices against discrimination and male dominance and came out from lethargy without being stagnant at a point in order to move forward with enthusiasm. Being such a dynamic and exemplary mother to her daughter is not an easy task. It is obviously not a bed of roses. Shukra acknowledged the support, courage and warmth of love and affection that her parents especially her mother extended to her during hard times. She enjoys complete freedom under this strict mother without crossing the limitation which her parents draw. Shukra’s mother has been the backbone of her impoverished family. She was ready to struggle for the betterment of her family and especially for making her daughter’s dream come true while taking care of her ailing husband. She raised her daughter while inculcating rays of hope, optimism, confidence, determination, perseverance and will power along with respect to the native culture and adherence to traditions.
In conclusion, determined Shukra holds a lamp and delivers a message for all Sri Lankans to unite forget all differences and go forward for the betterment of our beloved motherland.
The writer is an Attorney-at-Law with LLB, LLM, MPhil.(Colombo)[email protected]