Watawala Plantations PLC, a member of the Sunshine Group, continued its award winning trend by adding yet another to their cache, with the Asian CSR Leadership award 2014 under the category ‘Promoting employment for the physically challenged’.
The plantation company’s submission for the awards was based on their theme ‘Together we will make a difference’ and its focus was on the vocational training centre located at Kenilworth estate, which operates on a mission to empower the differently-abled.
Watawala Plantations PLC CEO Dr. Dan Seevaratnam, General Manager HR and Administration Ronnie Almeida and Kenilworth Estate Manager Dinesh Perera were present at the awards ceremony hosted by the Asian Confederation of Business, at the Taj Palace Hotel in Dubai.
The Kenilworth Estate established the Vocational Training Center back in 1998, to ease the challenges and socio economic issues faced by the differently abled within the plantation community and surrounding village communities. Since its establishment, the centre has provided a respectable livelihood to these categories of physically challenged individuals.
The Vocational Training Center currently houses 12 differently abled associates and trains them in producing envelopes, environmentally friendly paper bags, tea sample bags, factory container bags, greeting cards and the like – all of which have developed a ready market through the management facilitation.
Majority of the produce is sold within the Sunshine Group, and the income generated is distributed amongst the differently abled associates as a monthly remuneration, helping them to stay self-sufficient. Monthly medical checks, medical treatment and the maintenance of medical files for each one has secured for them the comfort of sound medical care and attention.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Seevaratnam emphasised that this international recognition not only reflects the best practices of the company in ensuring the sustainability of a people’s business, but also showcases the commitment and positivity of the vocational training centre inmates and their caregivers.
“We, as a socially responsible Group, and especially a plantation company who deals with a vast number of people and their livelihoods, are committed to uplift the lives of those physically challenged and to give them a new lease in life to live with dignity and this kind of recognition is encouraging and would also go towards further empowering our people,” he said.