Senapura Veterans’ Home, Anuradhapura

11th of November 2018 marked a remarkable day for “perabeats” team. As a result of the dedication of the organizing team, we were able to succeed in our most awaited charity programme for the year 2018 which took place at Senapura Veterans’ Home in Anuradhapura. Visiting the brave souls there with gifts and sharing their experiences was more than a charity, when comparing to what they have done for us, our nation, our future and our security, disregarding themselves, truly giving their all, sacrificing their dreams of youth to let all Sri Lankans breath freely after 30 years of war.

The majority of the veterans were suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and all they wanted to do was to work as ordinary people, which unfortunately, they couldn’t. Obviously the challenges they were facing were quite different to other people who are out of work because these brave souls were once active, strong, young blood who are now in need of both mental and physical support. Their work is not repaid as it should be; society is forgetting them day by day after the peace was established. We, as the official media unit of University of Peradeniya, being an exception, as we  “Expect the Unexpected”, headed on appreciating our own wounded, while serving for us in the war. Now they themselves feel discarded and abandoned with broken bleeding hearts, needing hope to rise again. In honor of them, we must do all we can do and extend our hands and be their support. Therefore even though we can never do enough to pay gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we, perabeats, tried to do a little more for them, sharing their experiences in the battlefield and the scarifies they’ve done on behalf of us. We couldn’t find anyone at the veterans’ home who was not wounded but still they have found ways at least to recover and get into their daily work while taking medical treatments. None of them can go back to their homes permanently because of the lack of facilities they have at their own homes. Once they go home they have to travel a long distance to get back to the veterans’ home. In the veterans’ Home, the veterans are not allowed to idle their minds and body as they have to engage in weaving, making bags, teddy bears, soaps, and other activities. Within the Home many workshops are available for the betterment of the veterans’ mentality and to help them to recover and to get adapted to their current condition and to face life with courage.

Covering the pain, inner sufferings, mental disorders, damaged hearts and physical weaknesses with smiles on their faces but tears in their eyes, they told us another untold story; the fight they have within themselves which no one could see. What they need the most is psychological therapy and aids which seem so far. The evening gaming session with them surprised us and they proved to have strong determination than physical ability.Their warm acknowledgements, friendliness and nice hospitality impressed us and we resolved to visit them again as soon as we could.

These brave souls sacrificed their lives to end the  30 years old war. But, now they are disabled, neglected and forgotten by society forced to stay away from their loved ones and family. Yet they remain strong and brave and it is our utmost duty and the responsibility to  salute them and honour them forever as the saviors of the nation!