BRIDGING THE POVERTY GAP
Ransika Lokupitiya favours taking steps to help citizens fight poverty
Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly here in Sri Lanka?
A: This island has everything we need to live peacefully and happily; it’s filled with people who come from varied backgrounds, making the country rich in human resources.
We mustn’t focus on what we don’t have but rather, on what we have. Education for instance, can be very challenging in Sri Lanka but its quality is excellent and we all have access to it.
Politics is one negative aspect where changes are made not for the nation’s betterment. People waste time arguing about these things but should instead use this time productively, finding ways to earn a living and make the most of what we have.
Q: What are the challenges facing the country today?
A: One would be poverty. The streets are filled with the disabled, poor and homeless, with some begging and others using their talents by singing and dancing to eke out a living.
No one has taken the initiative to find a solution to poverty. Providing employment for these people would be an ideal solution. The government can initiate programmes where these people can be employed, and even those with singing and dancing talents could be nurtured to perform at various events.
Those who are differently abled can be assigned tasks that are appropriate to their skills.
Q: And how can Sri Lanka retain the talent that it has?
A: Teamwork is an essential element and therefore, Sri Lankans must work towards making this country better rather than be profit oriented. Teamwork will definitely help retain the talent we have.
Additionally, it is imperative that the younger generation is given access to the best knowledge, and also taught values and principles. Our future will then be very bright.
A: The opportunities are gradually increasing with many higher educational institutions catering to wide and varied knowledge gaining avenues at low cost. Work experience can be obtained and young people now have opportunities to pursue knowledge to the highest levels.
However, while about 90 percent of our students are well behaved and steeped in values, the rest have the worst discipline especially as regards harassing women and being obnoxious. This means that all youth get a bad name. The solution would be to take police action against them.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
A: I see myself as a successful businessman in a stable financial position. Also, I dream of helping everyone in need in this country and focussing more on community service while not being materialistic.
Q: What’s the good, the bad and the ugly of the world in which we live?
A: With the world becoming very advanced and technology playing a major role in shaping the way we work, there are increasing opportunities for knowledge enhancement. I also believe that conflicts between countries have reduced in number, which makes the world a safer place.
However, racism has reared its head with Sri Lankans being rejected for jobs and other opportunities due to their origins in an Asian country. The mindset of some individuals has not changed, and that’s the bad and ugly that we see in this modern-day world.
Q: How do you view the growing importance of social media today?
A: While social media is increasingly being used by not only the younger generation but across all demographics, it has become a very important facet in the daily lives of people. It is an advertising, marketing and learning platform for people of all ages, and also a means of sharing opinions and ideas.
However, the increased use of social media has attached risks with hackers gaining the upper hand and stealing personal data.
Q: Where do you see the world in 10 years’ time?
A: With the advancement of technology, AI is the topic most in focus today. With people rapidly investing in new technologies, the world in 10 years’ time will be a place where humans won’t be involved in work and the roads will be filled with driverless cars!