The ICT Agency of Sri Lanka (ICTA) held the National Nenasala Felicitation Gold Award 2013 - the Nenasala Pranama Swarna Sammana - recently. The aim of the felicitation event was to give due recognition to the service rendered to the country by the Nenasala owners and operators through the Nenasalas (wisdom outlets).
The Balangoda Nenasala in the Ratnapura district secured the topmost award, namely the Nenasala Pranama Swarna Sammana – the best Nenasala in the island. The winning Nenasala of the next top award, namely the Professor V. K. Samaranayake Memorial Award, was the Sooriyawewa Nenasala of the Hambantota district.
These awards were received respectively by the Nenasala owners Udesh Malikaratne and Deepika Priyadarshani from Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya.
Nine awards were won by the Nenasalas adjudged the best in each of the nine districts. Twenty awards were won at district level as 'the best Nenasala of the district'. There were 19 merit awards and in addition there was a Nenasala Community award which was won by Kamal Chaturanga Gamage.
Gracing the event as Chief Guest, Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyamabalapitya said that the Nenasala project was a brainchild of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa. The President had always wanted to bring the optimum benefits of ICT to the people island-wide especially the most disadvantaged in society. The Nenasala project is a major machinery in making the benefits of ICT accrue to the people. Carrying out the Nenasala project is not easy. It is complex. It has its problems. But thanks to ICTA for pioneering the difficult task, the Nenasala project today stands out tall not only in Sri Lanka but also in the whole world.
Participating in the occasion, ICTA CEO Reshan Dewapura urged the Nenasala owners and operators to make the resources available yield the highest results in serving the people. "The success of the Nenasala project is proven by the presence of owners and operators of nearly 700 Nenasalas in operation, present here". This success is due to the leadership given by His Excellency the President from inception eight years ago and the practical guidance offered by Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya. We are humbly pleased with the success of the project under the e-Sri Lanka initiative as is further manifested by the extensive presence of the successful Nenasalas island-wide.
According to a global survey the Nenasala project is a model for other countries as well in telecentres. According to still another survey, monthly more than 200,000 persons use the network of Nenasalas set up so far . Today Nenasala is popular: it is approached by farmers, fishermen, the self-employed, the private sector, school children, teachers, vegetable vendors, foreign employment seekers etc. on a regular basis. It has become even more useful with the link it has to the Lanka Gate and the Lanka Payment Portal.
The launch of the book "Nenasala The Sri Lankan telecentre experience" by Dr. Shadrach Basheerhamad along with the Sinhala and Tamil versions also took place on this occasion.