Fundraising for a worthy cause | Daily News


Fundraising for a worthy cause

‘Still Steeping’ by Saitha Gnanaratnam

The launch of Saitha Gnanaratnam’s ‘Still Steeping’ took place on March 3 at The Sooriya Village. Under the auspices of Hayleys Plantations Managing Director Dr. Roshan Rajadurai, as Chief Guest, the event saw the attendance of those affiliated to the plantation industry of Sri Lanka and well-wishers of LEADS. The launch included introductory speeches on the book and the author as well as the Chief Guests address, a speech by LEADS Chief Executive Officer Roshan Mendis, readings of excerpts from the book and concluded with a book signing by author Saitha Gnanaratnam.

‘Still Steeping’ is a sequel to ‘Steeping’ which was launched in 2018. Just like its prequel, the proceeds of the sale of ‘Still Steeping’ was in aid of LEADS’ work in providing care and psychosocial therapy for child survivors of abuse in Sri Lanka. LEADS is a national agency which works towards creating safer spaces and brighter futures for the children of Sri Lanka. As an approved charity, LEADS’ work is integrated in recognising the child as a part of a family, community and the nation, through its work with survivors of abuse, underprivileged communities and those at risk of natural and man-made disasters, both at grassroot and national policy level. As one of the few organisations in Sri Lanka dedicated to rehabilitating survivors of child abuse, LEADS’work in child protection includes prevention, residential and non-residential counselling, after-care services for survivors of child abuse and reintegration support for survivors.

‘Still Steeping’ includes anecdotes from 18 spouses of PDs or “Periya Durais” of the plantation sector in Sri Lanka. This book has a unique perspective to its narration; it is one of the few books that explores the impacting role played by the women of the post-colonial tea and rubber plantation era. The book describes the incredible way in which city-girls stepped up, adapted to and excelled in their role as wives to PDs or SDs. Thus, ‘Still Steeping’ is a fact-based account of research not revealed in any other publication which is solely dedicated to first-hand experiences. It encompasses over 25 stand-alone subjects and has touches of poignancy, nostalgia and sentimentality. Thereby, ‘Still Steeping’ is a journey exploring a lifestyle of a waning era and the impact that women had during this time.

Saitha Gnanaratnamis a grand-daughter, daughter, sister and wife to men who hail from the tea industry and is no stranger to the lifestyle of leisure. Almost 50 years ago, Saitha and her young sons immigrated to Canada in search of a new life, but her exposure to the tea plantation lifestyle served as a foundation and inspiration to her personal and professional future at her new home in Canada. As a freelance application developer, Gnanaratnam pioneered various community development projects overseas, beginning in West Bengal, India. With a passion to create an impact in the lives of survivors of child abuse in Sri Lanka, Ms. Gnanaratnam partnered with LEADS back in 2018 to launch her maiden book, ‘Steeping’. Following 2 years of research and ascertaining the veracity of facts, . Gnanaratnam returned to Sri Lanka to launch the sequel ‘Still Steeping’ in partnership with LEADS. -DMD

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