A milestone with the potential to influence the futures of 154 bright young Sri Lankans was reached when Ceylinco Life presented the 19th edition of the company’s ‘Pranama’ scholarships at the BMICH recently, rewarding academic and extracurricular excellence with disbursements totalling Rs 11.5 million.
Senior academics as well as past and present recipients of these scholarships who spoke at the event acknowledged the motivational impact of the programme on the lives of beneficiaries, and through them on the community, with many past Pranama scholarship winners now serving as doctors, engineers, lawyers and accountants and in many other fields.
Chief Guest Senior Prof. S. R. D. Kalingamudali, Dean of the Faculty of Science of the University of Kelaniya, himself the winner of a Commonwealth scholarship to read for a degree in electronics at a prestigious UK university, said the true value of a scholarship depends on how it impacts the recipient and what he or she does with it.
Emphasising that learning from observing people, events and the environment is as important as learning from the prescribed texts, Prof. Kalingamudali urged the latest batch of Pranama scholarship recipients to constantly question what they see and experience, and to participate in extracurricular activities and sports. “Always ensure that whatever you do, you do it well, to the best of your ability,” he said. “It is then that you will become a valuable asset to your country.”
Ceylinco Life Managing Director and CEO Mr Thushara Ranasinghe said the company launched the Pranama scholarships scheme in 2002 recognising the increasing burden on parents to invest money and effort in the education of their children despite the availability of free education in the country. Over the 18 years that followed, the company presented Rs 143 million in scholarships to 2,571 students, and with the 19th round of scholarships presented in 2020 that figure has now reached Rs 154.5 million, he said.
Among the highlights of the event was a speech by Dr Sanjaya Walawenayake, a Ceylinco Life Pranama scholarship recipient in 2007 and now attached to the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital, and a speech by medical student Amanthi Induwari Edirisinghe, who received a Pranama scholarship this year for her performance at the GCE Advanced Level examination in 2018.
Ceylinco Life Pranama scholarships are presented to policyholder’s children who achieve the best results in their respective districts at the Year 5 scholarship examination, the GCE Ordinary Level, and the GCE Advanced Level as well as to those who excel at the national level in sports, invention, drama, cultural activities, or display other special skills. The Company also pays special cash awards to policyholder’s children who are placed second, third and fourth at district level at the GCE Advanced Level examinations.
The 19th edition of the Pranama scholarships programme rewarded 29 students who excelled at the 2019 Year 5 scholarship examination with Rs 120,000 each, payable in instalments over five years. Another 25 students who excelled at the 2018 G.C.E. Ordinary Level each received Rs 84,000, payable monthly over two years, while 25 students placed 1st in their districts at the 2018 G.C.E. Advanced Level examination received scholarships worth Rs 144,000 each, payable over a three year period.
Furthermore, one-time payments of Rs 30,000 each were presented to 65 students placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in their districts at the 2018 GCE Advanced Level examination.
Ten students who excelled in sports, drama, invention or creative fields at the national or international level in 2018 and 2019 too were presented merit awards, each to the value of Rs 35,000.
The market leader in Sri Lanka’s life insurance industry for 16 of the 32 years it has been in operation, Ceylinco Life has close to a million lives covered by active policies and is acknowledged as a benchmark in the local insurance industry for innovation, product research and development, customer service, professional development and corporate social responsibility.
Ceylinco Life was adjudged Sri Lanka’s most valuable life insurance brand by Brand Finance in 2019, ranked among the 10 ‘Most Admired Companies’ in the country by the ICCSL the same year, named the Best Life Insurer in Sri Lanka for the sixth consecutive year in 2019 by World Finance, and has also been declared the most popular life insurance company in the country for the past 13 years by SLIM-Nielsen.