Chairman of David Pieris Group Welfare Committee and DPMC Director (Parts & Accessories) Mr Jayantha Ratnayake with the award. Chief Guest Speaker Hon Jaru Jayasuriya and other guests also in the picture.
David Pieris Motor Company (Pvt) Ltd was bestowed with the Gold Award for “Best CSR Program in the Private Sector for Women’s Empowerment” at the "Top 50 Professional & Career Women Awards – Ninth Edition - Sri Lanka & Maldives” held at Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo, recently.
This award was presented for the Group’s ‘Empowering Women through Technical Training’ initiative, which creates trained, certified women mechanics. It is the first of its kind in Sri Lanka and is the only exclusive mechanic based technical programme for women, training them in repairing and servicing three – wheelers.
Rolled out under the guidance of the Chairman of David Pieris Group of Companies, Mr. David Pieris, a few years ago, the objective was to provide women with alternate employment opportunities which had been previously limited to males.
This initiative was established together with Women’s Bureau of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Dry Zone Development and has already been conducted in Kalutara, Polonnaruwa, Kilinochchi, Anuradhapura, Moneragala and Matara Districts covering over 200 women and is offered completely free of charge.
The selected women first undergo a three-month technical training programme. On the successful completion of both a practical and theory test they then undergo practical work at the service dealers of the David Pieris Motor Company (Pvt) Ltd to gain necessary and valuable hands on experience. Finally, they are provided with complimentary tool-sets and a certificate signed by the Women’s Bureau of Sri Lanka certifying them as mechanics, which opens a meaningful and lucrative career path for them.
The Social Welfare Committee of David Pieris Group additionally assessing the requirements and provides them with financial assistance to set up their own garages as well as other support to uplift their lives and economic circumstances.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Group, Mr. Jayantha Ratnayake, Chairman - Social Welfare Committee, David Pieris Group and Director - Parts and Accessories, David Motor Company (Pvt) Ltd., said,
“Women’s empowerment has always been one of the key focus areas of our community outreach efforts. As part of this, we sought to find ways in which we could help grow their participation levels in the workforce and their contribution to the economy. Given our long-standing involvement with Sri Lanka’s three-wheeler market as the sole distributor of Bajaj three wheelers for over 25+ years, we wanted to provide fulfilling entrepreneurship opportunities for women in this industry.
This program has paved way for an alternative income source to women who may otherwise have been compelled to leave their families and seek work overseas while at the same time providing skill labor, which had been lacking in the vehicle repairs and servicing sector. Thereby, not just meeting the financial needs of the women but creating significant value to the economy as a whole.
We have been truly inspired by the participants passion and relentless efforts and look forward to creating more skilled women entrepreneurs through this initiative”.
“Top 50 Professional & Career Women Awards – Ninth Edition - Sri Lanka & Maldives” was organized by Women in Management (WIM) in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the Government of Australia, the event was graced by Hon. Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka, Karu Jayasuriya, as well as several ministers, diplomats and leaders from both the public and private sector.
Mr. Ratnayake also observed that three-wheelers have gone beyond serving as a convenient and cost-effective mode of public transport and continue to bring financial independence to even more Sri Lankan families. Today, they have become an integral part of the Sri Lankan economy, playing an active role in industry and commerce as well as the household.