The first Lady Commissioner General of the Inland Revenue Department of Sri Lanka Nirmala Devi Ramachandran is no more. This is because the sprightly 81-year-old was summoned before the creator of the universe. The news of her demise came as a surprise. Her family members had a private funeral for her where her remains were cremated. The funeral was attended by friends and relations. The late Nirmala was born and bred in the salubrious environs of Ward Place. She was born on the 23rd of November in 1935 and passed away on 21st of September in 2017. She was the only girl in a family of four. Her father, the late Dr. Vairamutthu Kathirgamatamby, died 70 years before she was called to rest. Without a father’s love and care she grew up afterwards. The values of honesty, Justice and fair-play were inculcated in her mother (Chellam) and Alma Mater (Ladies College).
These values helped her undertake any challenging task, even if it came in the world stage. She had her primary and secondary education at Ladies College Colombo. She later read for a degree in Physical Science (London University) from Aquinas College, a private institution and secured a Hons Class. That paved the way for her to join the Prestigious Inland Revenue fraternity. In 1960, Dr. Surendra married Nirmala Devi. Dr. Surendra and Nirmala acted as the wind under the wings of others and soared to great heights despite envious stings. Her husband was bestowed with the much coveted Deshamanya National Award. Nirmala became the First Lady Commissioner General in the Inland Revenue Department. During her period as Commissioner General the collection at the department soared. The Collection for the period 94 -95 was 20% of G.D.P. This percentage was the highest recorded during the last one and a half decades of the 20th century. Nimala was a voracious reader and a great traveller. The latter could be the reason for her to often put pen and paper together. She published 3 volumes of Hindu Heritage to enrich Hindu culture. She assigned the royalty of the book to the Treasury of the Ramakrishna Mission Trust Fund. This was for the purpose of charity and to alleviate poverty. Friends and relations know of Nirmala’s favourite quote culled from the verse ‘Farewell my Friend’ by Ravindranath Tagore. It was “Farewell, farewell My friends I smile and bid you Goodbye. No, shed no tears for I need them not. All I need is your smile”.
It is difficult to say goodbye with a smile dear friend because your life on earth has come to an end. But Sudarshan, Sanju, Shanath, Pravinath, Harishnath and those near and dear to you will you miss, while you enjoy eternal bliss.
A Former Commissioner of Inland Revenue 18
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