Muralindra Kumar Ponniah

Village Director Nuwara Eliya SOS Children’s Villages in Sri Lanka

It’s your home

This is a story about Divya[1], a young girl child who started up in life with losses and how she afterwards succeeded journeying upwards to personal happiness. Divya was ten days old when her biological mother died and she came to our SOS CV in X. Nursed in love and care by her SOS mother Divya resumed life in a warming loving environment. At the age of five, her SOS mother died. Divya must have wondered what she has done wrong in life. No wonder then she responded aggressively and unwelcoming to her next SOS mother.

Fortunately there was Sukriti[2]. She was herself also an SOS child in the village but now married to the village director. Divya was always fond of Sukriti and Sukriti accepted Divya wholeheartedly and in constant collaboration with Divya’s SOS mother, the three built up a very strong relationship. With this accepting, warming and securing foundation, Divya was able to overcome her doubts in life, accepted her SOS mother and became friendly with her.

The benefits out of the collaborating relationship did not wait for long. Divya became studious throughout her school period. In her grade five in the local school, she excelled very well in her scholarship examinations. With these successes in her hand, she moved into the world by gaining admission into a reputed school outside the city. She was determined to face challenges that would come on her way in her new environment.

After some time, she lost interest in studies as well as in her day to day activities. The school authority informed us at the CV about her indifferent behaviour and we immediately looked into the matter. The outcome was that we should take Divya back home and this we did. After a while, I met with the SOS mother on her behalf with the superior in the school and fortunately, she agreed to give Divya a little more time. With her going back to school, I began to make regular visits to see her. These visits reassured her of the steady warmth, love and security her SOS family always has ready for her. With that confidence of having a home that expects her at every time, Divya gradually regained trust, self-confidence and determination in life.  

Her successes speak for themselves. She was determined to make it in life. She attended extra coaching classes, used all opportunities available to her to improve especially her knowledge of English. She sat for the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level) and passed with six distinctions and three credits. Divya has great desire to advance her studies. She has a special knack in computer studies. Her special areas of interest are mass media, business statistics and economics.

Divya was all round a promising student. She was a member of the school choir and was very well known in school. She performed very excellently in school, sports and social activities. She was an active member of the child club[3]  of the village from which she was among those selected to represent our country in an international training event on “Child Participation and involving Children in their own protection”. Moreover, Divya has showered us all in the village with pride as she was among the 88 children chosen out of twenty two districts to participate at the two National Children Conferences of the Child Rights Advocacy Network (CRAN) organised in collaboration with “Save the Children”.

With her activities and participations in the child club, the knowledge, skills and awareness on child rights advocacy and child participation she has acquired, including her ability of fluently articulating in three languages, she has won herself a place of importance among the children and the organisers of the conference. Presently Divya is working at UN Office in the capital city of our country as a HR assistant and at the same time following a course in Human Resources to obtain an academic degree.

Divya brought fame to SOS both with her being selected to represent the children of this country at an International training program on child right and with her sending an exceptionally important message to those who think only on ethnic lines in the region. We, the SOS Children’s family are proud of our child Divya and her role modelling calibre. We are proud of the standard and ability of our child club and child forum activities and of the training and guidance capacities of our dedicated co-workers in the village.
I believe this is a powerful story of a successful journey to happiness in life.


[1] Original name has been changed to maintain confidentiality
[2] Original name has been changed to maintain confidentiality .
[3] Child club is an avenue which provides space for children to ensure their right for association, develop their inherent skills. Children independently organise their clubs under the guidance of elders. Nuwara Eliya child club operates with the vision of creating quality leaders with a vision, dignity, and the capacity to reach the targets in life.

Muralindra Kumar Ponniah
is the Village Director in SOS Children’s Village in Nuwara Eliya in Sri Lanka. He joined SOS CV in November 1992.

He has till date serviced SOS CV is various functional capapcities: From voluntary in Accounts department, to Accounts Assistant, from Senior Co-Worker in the Village over coordinator Tsunami works in the Eastern Province to Assistant Director – Emergency Relief. In 2007 he became the Village Director. His devotion is directed towards  educating and shaping the children and youth for a better future. “I love and enjoy my present position in SOS Children’s Village”, he says. 

His family: Kumar was born the first child in a family of five and they live in Nuwara Eliya, in the Central Province. He is  married and blessed with two children (twin girls). His wife grew up in SOS Children’s Village in Nuwara Eliya and she is a professional Bharatha Dance teacher.

Leisure time: He loves to spend his free time with his twin daughters. He enjoys playing with the youths, meeting friends and talking about current news, activities of clubs, organising trips and so on.

He is heartily dedicated to community development. He engages in various activities for youth development. Kumar is an active member of diverse social clubs like Lion’s Club, Summer Hill Club and Nuwara Eliya Club and in different functions especially in Nuwara Eliya Football league under which, with others, they organised Global Peace Games with the partnership of FIFA. He is also a member of District Child Development Committee in Nuwara Eliya and Steering Committee of Child Rights of Advocacy in Sri Lanka.