Fire in your belly | Daily News


Fire in your belly

St. Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa
Head Boy of St. Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa, Budhhika Chathuranga, Pictures by Ruwan de Silva.
Head Boy of St. Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa, Budhhika Chathuranga, Pictures by Ruwan de Silva.

The more he yearns for, the more his hopes of victory are kindled. Perfect Prefects features Head Boy of St. Joseph Vaz College, Wennappuwa, Budhhika Chathuranga, a leader with fire in his belly.

1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty. According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. 805 million people worldwide do not have enough food to eat. More than 750 million people lack adequate access to clean drinking water. Preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia take the lives of 2 million children a year who are too poor to afford proper treatment. As of 2013, 21.8 million children under one year of age worldwide had not received the three recommended doses of vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty. All of this is heartbreaking when you think that some of these people are on the streets begging for money to save the life of a loved one.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that at least 15.3 million people worldwide have drug use disorders. Collectively, smoking, alcohol and illicit drug use kill 11.8 million people each year. This is more than the number of deaths from all cancers.

“Poverty is a global problem. Poverty is one of the root causes of violence, crime and despair. Because of poverty, people cannot afford proper healthcare. Entire families suffer. The poor cannot afford health services and trying to pay for these health services pushes them further and further into poverty.

We need to try our hardest to bring about a change. Drug addiction is another huge problem that I see. Drug addicts and the poor are really going through an ordeal. They get pushed into violence.

They, in turn, because of their desperation become perpetrators and offenders. They may even lose their sanity. We need to be compassionate and have a heart,” explained Chathuranga.

Any leader, if he or she is to be effective, needs that fire in his or her belly. That powerful sense of ambition or determination. At St. Joseph Vaz College Wennappuwa, all 3339 students are given equal opportunity, but they are all missed opportunities if you do not have that hunger to achieve. The facilities are there, but do you see them as pathways to self- advancement?

“There are various activities in our school, you just need that desire, you need that hunger and that yearning to perform. I perform all of my duties with great energy and enthusiasm. This is because I am proud to belong to a great school like Joseph Vaz College, a school that produces nothing but the best!,” pointed out Chathuranga.

Chathuranga oversees a large body of students that helps him to develop his leadership skills. When there is work to be done, he does not idle. This is something he detests. He understands the value of time and organizes his life by prioritizing. The time he says is so precious and we need to make the best use of it

“I belong to the National Karate Team of Sri Lanka and last year I took part in the Commonwealth Karate Championship in Durban South Africa. Doing Karate has enabled me to develop both mind and body. It has taught me balance and it is one of the factors in life that have enabled me to sharpen my focus to the point that I can accurately distinguish between what is wrong and right. The love of Karate has been kindled in me. Karate has taught me how to manage my life and helps me live a happy and healthy life,” explains Chathuranga

His goal in life is to become a successful lawyer. He knows that he can always depend on his parents who are always there for him. They are a perfect example of kindness. Chathuranga has been taught to be kind to everyone.

Sometimes you get caught up in what you do, facing challenges in life and you miss that opportunity to express your love to those who you love. Chathuranga has been taught to be humble, have that sense of humility. Chathuranga’s mother was a nurse and his father was a seaman who is now working in Italy.

“I need to also praise my school, as it has transformed me into a dynamic young individual. I intend on passing my A/L examination with flying colours and enter the law faculty of Colombo University. My message to any young guy or girl is to be kind to everyone. This is because a simple act of kindness can go a long way, but you also need to be tough enough to face any challenge as well. Be gentle with those who are gentle,” stated Chathuranga.

Chathuranga is an avid reader and is a great fan of Martin Wickramasinghe and loves reading Madol Doova. Wickramasinghe is often acclaimed as the father of modern Sinhala literature. We are told that in the two years spent at his school, Wickramasinghe became fluent in English as well as Latin. Chathuranga also admires Vladimir Putin who has served as the president of Russia since 2012. Putin has said that Russia is leading the world in terms of its weaponry. Chathuranga feels that the modern world calls for great leaders because the world needs great leaders.

Chathuranga summed everything up by saying that the Youth are our greatest hope. They can create a better world. Today we see so many young people getting into lifestyles that are ruining their lives.

This is a problem we should address and stamp out. Our cherished values, ideals and beliefs need to be passed down. The society we have struggled for needs to survive.

What we have taken pride in, must survive. If we may not be remembered, then what we have tried to accomplish can be remembered.

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