Fit for Caesar’s army: Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya | Daily News

Fit for Caesar’s army: Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya

Bearing the school flag.
Bearing the school flag.

Head Girl of Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya, Imara Gamage, has two great strengths: her personal brilliance and her followers. Because of her winning personality, there are so many drawn to her. Perfect Prefects features Imara Gamage, who says that people are her power.

Her guild is her bulwark and her position of strength. The main aim or the vision of the Prefects’ Guild is to uplift the honour of mother Sirimavo and to preserve its glory for generations to come. Her prefect’s guild consists of five top board members (excluding her), 54 senior prefects, 43 junior prefects and in addition another 60 stewards who have joined the guild for a training period of two months. So as you can see it is very much like Caesar’s army!

“In addition to the daily duties we perform at school we are the pioneers in organizing the main events of the school such as the annual pirith ceremony, sports meet, prize giving, colours awarding ceremony, New Year celebrations, Teachers’ Day celebrations and children’s day celebrations. As our annual project, we organised a blood donation campaign in aid of the Maharagama Apeksha Hospital which was an immense success with the participation of donors exceeding 160. Currently, we are preparing for the 45th anniversary celebration of our school which is scheduled to be held next year with an array of special events in line,” said Gamage.

Different perspectives

Gamage possesses a calm and friendly nature in addition to being a good listener. She believes in leading by example and she has the ability to adapt to any situation. She feels that this combination of qualities has allowed her to lead her fellow Sirimavians down the correct path.

“Whenever I take a decision I follow three important steps: listen, observe and then come to a conclusion. I work with 163 individuals who are differently skilled and are holders of different perspectives. Yet as a leader I should be able to motivate them and drive them towards a common goal. At times it can be challenging, but through discussion, we always implement the best decision. Every decision I take, I discuss with my fellow top board members and our teachers in charge. I believe that collective decision making is a must as it allows everyone to be a part of the decision making and gives them more motivation and passion,” said Gamage.

Gamage is enterprising and resourceful and does not hesitate to make quick and firm decisions. Again her asset is the guild. Sirimavo Bandaranaike Vidyalaya is a Buddhist girls’ school with a unique culture emphasizing on the Sri Lankan traditions and customs and Buddhist upbringing. The school shapes up young individuals who have a balanced personality and a sound education. They will become responsible citizens of the country one day.

“People are my power, and they are my strategy. No battle can be won alone; it depends on the strength of your troops. At the face of whatever challenge or difficulty my guild is my strength and together we face the obstacles,” pointed out Gamage.

About 12 years ago as a young and playful girl, she entered through the gates of her alma mater. At that time she may not have realized what the future had in store for her. Those who came into contact with her may have seen the untapped potential in the girl. But none could have guessed how she would excel in life.

International community

“At Sirimavo I have learnt many things both in academics and for life. Our school is like a big family, each one of us sharing a bond with one another which is unexplainable by words and our teachers are our pillars of strength. I don’t think I would have become the person I am today if I had not received the guidance that my teachers have given to me at school, helping me polish my strengths while helping me work around my weaknesses,” explained Gamage.

Gamage’s idol is Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the iron lady of Sri Lanka. One of Sri Lanka’s beloved leaders. A woman respected by the international community.

“If I get to meet any leader of choice without a second thought it will be Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world’s first female prime minister, after whom our school was named and also one of my personal role models. She has always been a remarkable person to me. She was a woman of great courage and strength, at a time when women politicians were rare. She did not hesitate to run for election, to continue her husband’s political legacy and to serve the people of the country. I admire her resilient nature, she fought her way through many obstacles,” said Gamage.

The world is at Gamage’s feet. But she says that before taking on the world by storm she prefers to make a difference in her homeland.

“I believe that smaller steps lead to bigger changes. I believe that development doesn’t mean only the improvements in the infrastructure of the country. But it should be something which goes hand in hand with the development in the lives of the people and a system where everyone is treated with equality regardless of wealth and status. I mean what would be the point of development if we only have high rise buildings in the country but there are unemployment issues, economic crisis and starving families? ” questions Gamage.

Business venture

Gamage is currently studying in the Commerce stream and will face her A/Ls next year. Her interest is in fashion.

“So in the future, I hope I will be able to enter into Central Saint Martin’s University in England, a renowned university for fashion education and one day turn my hobby into a successful business venture and maybe become a leader in the fashion industry,” said Gamage.

Gamage is indignant when it comes to bias. She believes that we are all equal and we should be treated equally.

 “I really don’t like the way how people are being racially profiled in some countries of the world. You and I may be different in colour, yet we all are human, made of flesh and blood, so it’s a great injustice to serve someone in a different way just because of the way they look! Even if the whole world seems to be trying to keep all this undercover pretending as if there is no such issue, the mass shootings that happen in the USA can be stated as some examples. I hope that in the future that I will get an opportunity to make people change their mindset on issues like this,” argues Gamage.

A Badminton player she also takes an interest when it comes to aesthetic activities. She is a dramatist at school, a member of the Western band and senior western choir. These activities have helped her develop the soft skills essential for a leader.

“A leader should be a risk taker. He/she should not hesitate at the sight of an opportunity. Because every opportunity is a chance to learn and a lesson in life. So my message to my brothers and sisters is simply - No matter how it will end just go for it and take the chance. Sometimes it might be what will change your life forever or what will teach you the biggest lesson in life,” stated Gamage.

Gamage’s parents are her confidants. When she is under a lot of pressure she talks to them. This calms her down and helps her keep focus. They give her the best advice she can get from anyone. She is then able to cope with the problem. Her mother has been her shadow all through her life. Her mother kept her strong at the most challenging and difficult times.

“If I can travel back in time I wish I could go back to the time when Queen Victoria reigned in Great Britain. The social and cultural changes which took place in England in the Victorian era are really interesting to study about and especially the Victorian sense of style is something that I really love to study and research on. I would also like to visit Egypt. To see with my own eyes the mysterious land of the pharaohs,” added Gamage

“I would like to extend my gratitude towards our principal R A M R Herath whose leadership has been a great example to all of us. I would also like to thank the Assistant Principal in charge of the Prefects Guild, Surangani Siriwardane, and all the teachers in charge of the Prefects guild and all other teachers who have given me guidance throughout my journey.

I would like to thank all my sister Sirimavians and especially my fellow top board members and all the members of the prefects guild whose selfless effort, commitment and unity have helped us to safeguard the honour of mother Sirimavo and to preserve its glory for generations to come,” said Gamage.



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