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Gender Equality


Before we understand the concept of gender equality, we need to ensure that we have a fundamental idea of what equality means. Making sure that each individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents, despite the major demographic factors inclusive of religion, race, and gender, is considered to be one of the most essential factors required to ensure that equality among the cultures or sexes is nurtured. Gender equality is a human right that expects all genders to be provided with equal chances and opportunities in all aspects.

Dating back to when women were only expected to engage in domestic duties, it is evident that they were viewed as the weaker part of the community. Their opinions were often neglected when it comes to making certain decisions due to the common practice of relying on men for financial support.

Due to societal norms around the world, the majority expects women to be patient and soft. They are working for the “man that provides for the family”. Upon review, it can be stated that being born as a female is considered an offense in some parts of the world, taking into consideration the fact that the mother is blamed by those who have not been educated from a biological standpoint, about the said “mishap”.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong.”

– Emma Watson

Other than these two genders, the different genders such as non-binary, transgender, etc. have been going through many hardships for a very long time. They were not even treated and accepted as a part of society for years. And they still find it challenging to live a simple everyday life. History shows us enough evidence that society has never been fair to them. Although we can see the state of acceptance by society, and the improvement of people’s attitudes towards them, they continue to face exclusion and discrimination. These occur in the industries such as education, employment, and health care – as well as within homes and communities. And many were harassed, beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured, and killed.

We can start attaining Gender equality from the smallest part of the community, which is home. We can begin by accepting them, showing respect, and cooperating. Parents have the habit of providing pink to girls and blue to boys, buying cars and gun toys for the boys and dolls and kitchen sets for the girls. As parents, we should encourage our children to respect their differences and give them a proper environment to grow, learn, preserve and be non-biased about their choice of colors, toys, and games. Whatever a child sees and learns in childhood will be reflected when they become adults. Children pick up knowledge and are influenced by what they see and hear from others. They frequently mimic people they observe in books, movies, and their environment. So, the lesser the gender prejudice mannerisms in any characters portrayed in the media, the better environment is provided to the children to absorb equality.

Gender equality in education is crucial because it has a huge impact on children. Giving unbiased examples, including all students in courses, having comprehensive sex education programs, and supplying adequate sanitation facilities should be maintained. Due to inadequate school facilities, reports show that many females drop out of school.

When it comes to the work environment, giving women and men the same respect is the first step in the practice of gender equality. Equal possibilities for promotion must exist to ensure better equality in the work culture.

Equal participation by all genders in decision-making, household tasks, and care needs to be encouraged. Everyone must be treated with respect and on an equal footing. As gender equality improves the safety and health of our communities, promoting gender equality can result in a more peaceful society. Involving women and gender-diverse groups in all decision-making processes can lead to sustainable peace in the long run.

Written by: Rtr. Divani Canisius

Edited by: Rtr. Imesha Ilangasinghe

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GeneralGrowth Hacks



Every person has a life. And each has a different way or various means of living their life. Therefore, it can be said that the purpose of life varies from person to person.

Life has its ups and downs. If a person is sad, their perspective of the world can form a negative point of view. There can be instances where they feel as if their whole world has collapsed and nothing is left to be done, mostly in extreme situations. And if a person is happy he or she will feel like they are at the top of the world. Happy people often view the world as a positive and hopeful aspect of life. Although an exact definition for life cannot be given, one may say that life is the existence of every animal including human beings.

Life consists of emotions and moments for people and these factors can be extremely time sensitive. All emotions are present for a short period. And it is risky for one to judge their life based upon those moments and emotions. When you are feeling down, finding happiness can be an overwhelming task. But having correct methods that suit you to be the best and most relaxed version of yourself leads to a happier version of you. The happier you are, the more you attract and radiate positive energy to the people around you. Which results in an elevated version of oneself. Although you are happy, it can be impossible to make everyone else happy as people are different and it might lead to people pleasing personality if you do not define strong boundaries for yourself.

Your life is yours, make it the way you want. To live a memorable and quality life, a person needs to identify their unique self, and have good emotional and physical health as well. In addition, an individual should have realistic goals that are achievable in life. As life does not stop for anybody, people should use their time of life wisely. They must understand that life is very short. Regretting over past matters, being sulky, moody, sad, feeling angry and other negative emotions takes your quality time of life away so that you can enjoy a happier version of yourself. Therefore be mindful of your thoughts about where you will chase after your dreams, stand up for yourself, go out and have fun, make new friends, help others, make yourself and your parents proud, etc.

In situations where you feel sad, it is important to think about how grateful you are for the life that you have. Practicing the art of gratitude helps you to focus on the greater things that you have achieved in life. This induces positive thoughts into you, such as, not having to spend your life just in vain but rather with some great purpose. Being grateful makes you appreciate the life that you have as there can exist a person, who would have dreamt of living your life.

You are the artist of your life so do not give the paintbrush to anyone else to paint it. Similarly try to be uniquely yourself, because none of us are the same but every one of us is different.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy”.

-Dalai Lama

In general, there are situations in life where you can get hurt. For which you will think that you will not be able to stand again. As much as we would want to make sure such incidents do not occur in life, there is always a chance that can happen. But make sure not to indulge in a mindset such that you feel you cannot outgrow.

Although all these thought processes take place inside your head, trying to change the perspective can be a bit challenging, but doable. And seeing the beauty of the world, and things that you appreciate in your life bring the best version of life for you. The future can be unpredictable, but work hard and work smart to make your future bright so that you get to live a life with quality and mindful happiness.

“Everything Negative – Pressure, Challenges – is all an opportunity for me to rise”.

– Kobe Bryant.

Keep in mind that things that made you fall are your strengths. Besides, not letting oneself down twice for the same reason induces growth out of negative situations, which is an excellent example of personality development. As the legend, Kobe Bryant, himself said, the negativity in life is a lesson for you to grow in life. Once you overcome the hopelessness in life, you will pave the way to climb out of the pessimism.

In conclusion, life will be the best if you get to associate with good people who make you feel worthy, become confident in yourself, minimize insecurities, always try to do the things that you wanted to do in life, love yourself unconditionally and believe in yourself.

Shine bright like a diamond and be a better version of yourself every day even when life throws you lemons!

Written by: Rtr. Divya Dulanjali

Edited by: Rtr. Imesha Ilangasinghe

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FeaturedGeneralGrowth Hacks

It’s Time to Stop Deflecting and Start Reflecting


You may have heard the words, Go to your room, a handful of times. A statement that you have probably heard your parents tell, usually after a fight with your sibling or an act of defiance.

When we get told to go to our rooms, it is to punish us, but it is also an indirect way of teaching us to be a better version of ourselves. When we do something wrong, we get sent to our rooms. Being confined in a four-walled room, without a kindred soul to chat with, without a phone to scroll through (ideally) forces us to THINK; think about what we did and what droves us into doing it and reflect on ourselves.

Reflective thinking – what it means

Reflective thinking means taking the bigger picture, analyzing every nook and cranny, and understanding all of its consequences. It does not mean that you need to write down your plans or what you have done in the past. Reflective thinking means to truly understand or at least try to understand why you did what you did, and why that is important. It often includes delving into your feelings, reactions, and emotions.

Reflective thinking is considered a hard nut to crack because we all know that it is very easy to criticize others but judging ourselves gives us the jitters. So, we consider it a trivial task and tend not to address the elephant in the room. 

Why it’s important?

Reflective thinking is important as it gives us the true perspective of a situation which leads us to follow the right path. Perfection is a social construct. Striving to be Perfect is similar to fighting a losing battle. We all make mistakes. Apologizing for your mistakes is not that easy. It takes courage to own up and say sorry. But apologies are meaningless if not followed up with self-reflection and reflective thinking. It is a form of entitlement and emotional manipulation to think that we can be ignorant and take our mistakes for granted because we can apologize repeatedly.

Reflective thinking improves our decision-making skills. It increases one’s confidence in decision-making. Even the Greatest leaders have moments of self-doubt, which comes from wondering whether a snap judgment made was the right thing or not. Therefore, clarity from our past experiences and decisions matters and could diffuse those doubts and help you improve the decisions that we make, little by little.

The art and practice of self-reflection are important for all aspects of our life. It is preferred in academics as it enables students to judge their actions and freely express their feelings. This is important from a professional standpoint because, it teaches us to be self-critical, point out our own mistakes, and find solutions. Moreover, when we know our weaknesses and strengths, it is easier to bear criticism from others.

“Nothing and no one faze me as I am, my judge, jury, and executioner”, something like that.

Being able to express ourselves objectively is a good quality that is also useful in the corporate world; it can help us stand out amongst competitors while enabling us to adapt and evolve.

How we practice it?

Reflective thinking is also not a “One size fits all” concept. The way we go about it varies from person to person and their preferences and attitudes in life.

For example, if you are a person who likes to jot everything down, you can keep a journal to write about your experiences and try to make sense of them. On the other hand, if you are not ascribed by default, you can allocate a minute or two of your day to think, reflect and improve. 

Sometimes, we are put into environments beyond our control, that require us to reflect. It can be in a class where students are instructed to write a reflective piece on what they have learned; it can be in a social situation where you are required to be a moderator or where you have to defend yourself or someone else. Reflection can also come in the form of reviews and evaluations.

For all the psych nerds out there, here are some popular theories on reflective thinking and learning.

Kolb’s Learning Cycle

This is a four-stage learning cycle published by David Kolb. Each stage supports the next stage, which includes:

  • Concrete experience (having a new experience)
  • Reflective observation (reflecting on that experience)
  • Abstract conceptualization (learning from that experience)
  • Abstract experimentation (apply what you have learned from that experience)

Schön’s model

Schön’s model of the reflective thinking process, presented in 1991, is based on the concepts of

  • Reflection-In-Action 

Quick reaction and thinking take place when we are in the middle of an activity. This allows us to look at a situation, understand why it is occurring and respond accordingly.

  • Reflection-On-Action

Takes place when we look back at an activity, in which we are more likely to think more deeply about the way we were feeling and its cause.


Thinking too much (Overthinking) cannot be considered a good thing. Reflective thinking is always great, but overthinking can destroy you. Everyone makes mistakes, and many of us hold regrets. The decisions we make daily are difficult. Sometimes you make a choice that differs from expectations, and that is okay. Maybe you made the right decision, and it was a close call. That is okay too. Maybe you chose a course of action which had undesirable consequences. And that is okay. 

Your choices, decisions, and course of action are all your own and never NEED to lead to regret if you have the right mindset. The mindset should focus on decision making to transverse new lands of opportunities. Stop judging yourself on the road you took to get where you are today. Overthinking happens when we fail to realize that.

Every decision made has a consequence – good or bad, and they should never be feared, but rather encouraged. Trial and error help build character. Using your past experiences as a guide to help build your future is exactly what we need, at this time and age. 

“We don’t learn from experience… we learn from reflecting on experience”.

John Dewey

Written by: Rtr. Kaveesha Jeyanthan

Edited by: Rtr. Imesha Ilangasinghe

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FeaturedGeneralGrowth Hacks

Is friendship a worthy cost for winning arguments?


We would have come across many instances where we either win an argument and lose a friend or lose the argument and win a friend. What is advantageous here? Undoubtedly, losing the argument and winning a friend, isn’t it? However, is it always practical? Does this mean that you should not express your opinions? Does this mean that you must lose every argument? Well, the answer is NO! This blog discusses my experiences and thoughts on how to be reasonable in winning the argument without losing the friendship.

I have come across many instances where I have seen my friends arguing about simple things and costing their friendships for it. At times, it appears as if they are intentionally damaging the friendship. I prefer winning a friend over arguments. But this does not imply my freedom of expression, or my point of view needs to stop.

First and foremost, I do not believe that true friends do not argue. What are friendships or relationships without small arguments and fights? Won’t it be like a flat road? Won’t it be monotonous, dull, and drab? As life has its ups and downs, so do friendships and relationships.

Sharing ideas with a diverse range of individuals is not always easy, especially when we disagree. Disagreements are inevitable when we all meet at a collective table. Even if certain points by them do not make a logical leap, that does not indicate that you should get into a conflict. Here are few tips to remember when a conversation steers down that road next time.

We have many things we agree upon. Hence, it is always better to start by getting to a common ground. And starting on the basic points where we agree rather than disagreeing from the initial point itself. If we start with a disagreement, it will result in the conversation ending unpleasantly.

Effective communication is a crucial factor, especially during conflicts or quarrels. When someone is trying to state a point, miscommunications may occur. Which then can lead to misunderstandings that could later be a root cause of another conflict or a dispute. Also, listening to others is another crucial factor of effective communication. It is always necessary to hear the other side’s viewpoints since it is correct from their perspective. Ignoring the ideas of others without understanding their point of view is a definite way to lose good communication even before the start. Everyone has the freedom to express their opinion. It is unfair when a person becomes judgmental of other’s standpoints. It is one of the most common issues that we come across in every argument. When we are in an argument all of us are more concerned about how to make our point correct rather than listening to what the other person is trying to say. Which ends up in ineffective communication.

It is most effective to state definite facts, rather than vague ones since others might get irritated or often misunderstand you with ambiguous points. Therefore, always make sure to speak with known facts. It’s always better to get some perspective, for example putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and starting with “If I talk from your point of view…” as it makes you empathize with your friends’ point of view and a bit of perspective makes discussions level out.

Never value winning the argument more than winning the relationship. Thus, never let the need to win the argument suppress the need to keep the bond of friendship alive. As I would say that friendship is something that is too valuable to throw out by arguing about ridiculous things.

If you sense the disagreement is getting carried away, it is better to apologize quickly. When you proceeded too far on validating your point until you understand that you have caused any inconveniences to your friend, it is wise to admit your fault and apologize for it. Stay sophisticated and own up to it.

As the arguments and misunderstandings can be minimized by apologizing, despite you behaving as an adversary, the friendship you have is exceptional. It is honest, valid, and fundamentally the bond must be so strong and deep enough to sustain misunderstandings. It is possible to clear out misconceptions if the bond of friendship is strong enough.

In conclusion, it is better not to have misunderstandings prolonged. Always make sure to step back and consider if it is worth losing your friendship. It is much easier to save the bond if you have been polite and friendly. Try to excuse yourself, make fun and try to set the points aside. Be forgiving and try to move on with your relationship even though your disagreements did not settle perfectly. As time can be the best healer, you would forget the disputes and would eventually wonder why that conflict occurred in the first place.

Written by: Rtr. Sashmittha Manickam Kumar

Edited by: Rtr. Imesha Ilangasinghe,
Rtr. Lakshan Banneheke

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Blog Better

Blog better

The first Professional Development project of the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School for the year 2019/2020 was held on the 8th of August, 2019 at Achievers Lanka Business School. The project “Blog Better” was an initiative to provide the club members with some basic knowledge on writing better blogs in a way that is more appealing and relevant to the readers. The workshop was conducted by Malinda Seneviratne, a senior journalist who specializes in writing about political affairs in the country.

Mr. Seneviratne was the chief editor at The Nation, prior to which he had been submitting weekly articles to many popular newspapers such as The Daily Mirror and the Daily News. He is an alumnus of Royal College and went on to complete his bachelor’s degree at the Harvard University through a scholarship, for which he applied during the JVP Insurrection period when all the state universities were shut down. He is also an accomplished poet, having been nominated for the coveted Gratiaen Award for the best work in literary writing in English in Sri Lanka five times, which he won in 2013 for his poetry collection, “Edges”.

According to him, one of the key factors of writing a good blog is to know your audience. As explained by him, most of his audience are people who are interested in the political affairs of the country who prefers English articles. Therefore, his audience is not only based in Sri Lanka but also around the world in places where many Sri Lankans reside. Because he knows what his audience is expecting of him, he targets the topics which are relevant to them. The next part is knowing your writing style. It is shaped by the audience, the writer and it may change with the topic of the article. Another key to being a good blogger, or a writer of any kind, is practice. As Mr. Seneviratne elaborated with an example from the cricketing world, the more you keep writing, the better you become at it over time.

The workshop was well-received by the participants, mostly because of the way it was conducted by Mr. Seneviratne. He referred to some of his life experiences to explain certain things which helped keep the discussion casual and the participants engaged. At the end of the workshop, a Q&A session was carried out by him to clarify any questions the audience had. The workshop was a success as the participants were fully attentive throughout the entire two hours.

His blog can be found at MalindaWords, and a collection of his poetry work can be found on his Instagram Page, @senevikadavara.

Rtr. Pruthuvi Fernando

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GeneralGrowth Hacks

Home Gardening – Try it


In the soil beneath your feet, there is an invisible world, which is continuously transferring its life to the plants and trees that grow above it. Home gardening is an activity which nurtures this transfer, but unfortunately due to urbanization and the development of technology it is a dying habit, especially among the youth of today.  However if you’re a person interested in it, but lack the motivation or the know-how, read on to find out on why you should start your own home garden, and how you can get about doing it!

  1. Is home gardening possible now?

Yes, it is. Anywhere, anytime.

  1. I don’t know much about home gardening

There is absolutely very little you need to know about home gardening. Home gardening is not solely about ‘growing what you eat’, it is also an exercise. A healthy way of increasing happiness and contentment, relieving stress which ultimately helps your long-term mental health.

The most important thing about home gardening is ‘home gardening should be done your way’.

The garden will express your emotions and effort in terms of harvest.

  1. What can I grow? I have no space, and can’t decide on what to grow

I shall answer these three problems in one section as it falls under an important theory about home gardening.

It is the space-time-benefit theory. This theory helps to finally identify the optimum plant mix for any garden.

Space refers to the total area available for you to maintain a home garden. Time refers to the total time that is available for you to engage in the garden while benefit refers to the level of return you gain in terms of crop.

As you can understand, there is a clear connection between these three factors. Let me explain this to you in an example.

Imagine you, a working individual, have a balcony area to manage a home garden.

As you can understand the time and area available to you is very limited. Which means managing a garden with various kinds of fruits plants (mango, pomegranate etc) or some vegetable plants (cabbage, cauliflower etc.) is quite difficult as they require much space as well as caring.However, you could utilize the same resources and grow 5-6 varieties of green leaves in your garden. It requires less space as well as caring but would yield a good healthy crop for your daily use.

Here are a couple of pictures of my home garden for reference.



  1. How do I start?

Firstly, understand the space available to grow.

Then match the space with the plants that you can grow. In a large area with a space to use the ground, planting trees would be a possibility. But with a small space you will have to focus on smaller plants that will have to be planted in pots/containers.

After understanding what can be grown, narrow the list down to a couple of plants that you are comfortable growing.

Finally, be positive and start your home garden.

Also remember not to limit yourself from TRYING various varieties of fruit plants, vegetable plants or herbs as they can always offer joy and excitement to your life.

  1. I would rather buy from the market

Imagine a meal you’re enjoying with your family. All or some of the varieties are picked from your garden. Its safe. Its lovely. You can feel the goodness all the way through.

Does that meal feel special?

Do you think you would feel the exact same way if everything was bought from the market?

If yes, this blog is not for you my friend.



  1. Do I need to buy various kinds of fertilizers?

Nope, you don’t. The fun fact is that all the nutrients you need and more are at an arms-length to you. Here are some:

  • Banana peels – Banana peels are a rich a source potassium. These helps any vegetable plant and especially flower plants like roses. All you need to do is simply cut the peels into small pieces and throw them into the hole before planting.
  • Coffee grounds – These are rich in nitrogen which helps acid loving plants such as tomatoes to grow. All you need to do is dry it and sprinkle on top of the ground or pour a liquid version on top of it.
  • Egg shells – These are rich in calcium and feeds plants such as tomato and pepper well. All you need to do is first wash and then crush the egg shells and use it in the potting mix or simply throw a couple of crushed egg shells to the hole before planting.
  • Weeds – Believe it or not, weeds are a good-easy fertilizer you can find. It is rich in nitrogen which is an essential nutrient for any plant. First take out the weed and dry them, root and all. Now break it into smaller pieces and add to your potting mix.
  • Cow manure – For most people living in the town area cow manure is difficult to find. Although you can purchase this for a very cheap price at any agriculture outlet in town. This, as is known by many of us is one of the best fertilizers that has nitrogen and even phosphate. All you need to do is mix it with your potting mix.
  • Leaves and vegetable scrap – These include heads of vegetables such as brinjal, carrot and beetroot as well as remnants of apple, watermelon, papaw you had for your dessert. These are all-natural fertilizers you can find at an arms-length to you. All you need to do is dry them for about a day. Then cut them into very small pieces and mix them with your potting mix.
  • Animal matter (insects, worms etc), human urine are also high sources of nutrients that can be used although they are rarely used due to several reasons.

IMPORTANT = Make sure to not over use any of the above fertilizers as they are only supporters/replenishes. The base should always be the soil.

  1. What would be the cost?

Home gardening is not a cost, its rather an investment! The investment can be as follows.

  • The investment on buying plants/seeds – This is a minor investment of a couple of rupees. You can even germinate plants using the seeds you find in the vegetable and fruits you buy from the market.
  • Investment to provide nutrients to soil (fertilizer, dirt) – as mentioned in question no 06, it is clear that you can your fertilizer at your home itself.
  • Investment to water plants – This can of course be over weighed by the return achieved in terms of crop. Methods to save, recycle the water can also be considered to gain an additional benefit.
  • Investment of tools and accessories – We are not looking at growing at an industrial level, hence the investment can be simply on pots/containers (if it is only possible to grow in pots/containers), tools as you prefer and a pair of gloves (optional)
  • It is very important to understand that home gardening does not have to be started with 50-60 varieties. You can simply start with about 2-3 varieties and gradually build up as you make progress.
  1. How much effort is required?

The plant grows on its own of course. Therefore, it is only a matter of taking care of the plants by clearing weeds, managing diseases and watering the plants as needed. Basically, giving the love and care the plant requires.

  1. How to manage diseases, rodents and harmful insects?

Various diseases, attacks from rodents and harmful insects are common in any garden. Hence managing it is important to maintain a healthy garden. Here are some methods you could use.

  • Acquiring disease free plants and seeds – This is the first solution to have avoid diseases. Buying well sealed and treated seeds will ensure that this risk is minimized.
  • Crop rotation and proper nutrition – This is one of the oldest and economical methods used in order to control diseases and improve crops. In the case of planting in pots/containers it would be a wise option to remove the soil from the pot/container, replenish it with your fertilizers after the crop yield is over. This will prevent the plants from facing various diseases due to malnutrition.
  • Resistant varieties – Plants such as mint, salvia flowers etc. resist harmful insects and rodents.
  • Solarization – For further preparation of the soil, some modern growers use solarization. Here you cover the soil with a sheet of plastic and leave it for about 2-3 weeks under the hot sun. This increases the temperature of the soli killing many soil-home pests, insects and weeds.
  • Time of planting – Planting vegetables and fruits at the right time helps reduce losses from several pests. For example, planting varieties of cabbage, cauliflower during heavily rainy seasons and help the development of cabbage worms. Hence, they should be grown during a controlled rainy season. Plants such as potatoes and garden soil can be planted in cool soil although plants such as beans or cucumber do well in the warm soil.
  • Chemical control – it is important to have control over using chemicals as they not only resist the harmful insects but also the needy insects as well. It also is certainly clear that the use of chemicals reduces the quality of the fruit or vegetable you grow.

Hence, we should try our best to stay away from these as much as possible.

  1. I don’t have time for this

If you have taken your time reading this blog, you surely have enough time to take care of at least one lovely plant.

I hope this answered most of the questions you would have had. Below, I have attached pictures of my home garden, hoping that you could see that a home garden can be grown anytime, anywhere. Till next time!





Rtr. Rahul Samarakone

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GeneralGrowth Hacks

How private is your privacy?



Did you know that until recently Uber could track you for 5 minutes after you end your ride?

We all live in a digital world which is highly advance and rapidly changing. Digitization has indeed made our lives simple by assisting in our day to day activities. Talking with someone on the other side of the world is now only a few clicks away. Living without using these technology is almost inevitable, as most day to day functions are integrated with IT. It is fair to say that we are connected and exposed to the digital world one way or the other and the rise of social networking has changed the way we interact with our friends, family members, etc. The impact of Facebook can be easily understood by the following figures;

  • 01 Billion active users.
  • 136,000 Photos are uploaded per second.
  • The most interesting fact, 83 million fake profiles.

Cyber Identity

A few years ago, other than basic information such as our name and age, people were reluctant to share any contact details such as email and phone number. However, as the world became more “Online”, personal privacy got more transparent than it used to be. In the beginning it didn’t feel like a threat, but the gradual rise of hacking and data breaching made clear that there is a possible danger to our Cyber Identity. For Identity Thieves it is pretty easy to steal someone’s personal data and imitate that person online. This can be clearly seen from the above statistic regarding the number of fake profiles in Facebook, and this is prevalent in other social networking sites as well. This is extremely dangerous as sensitive data such as emails, passwords, credit card numbers, pins and bank details can easily be compromised this way. These stolen details can then be used to do many illegal things from messaging your friends to stealing money from your bank account.

Online Shopping

Online Shopping is becoming increasingly popular, and it is shown through the competitiveness of the service providers such as Amazon, eBay and Alibaba. Furthermore, the number of small businesses going online is only increasing. Even though buying goods in just a few clicks sounds simple, the amount of data gathered through the process is significant. Most of us enter Credit/Debit card details into such websites. Once they are entered, there is not much we can do to protect them from hackers.

Advertising through consumer behavior

Google and Facebook are the leading suppliers of consumer behavior to advertisers and corporations. This information is then used to direct their marketing campaign, which from the user’s point of view is a headache. Everyone hates to see advertisements, especially advertisements which can reveal our preferences. This shows how much the advertisers know about our online behavior and can be seen as a threat to our privacy.

Protecting data


So how can we protect our data from these cyber threats? The key is to understand the risks that come with being “Online”. Understanding why a particular website asks for our details and what we should enter will help to limit the number of sensitive details we enter into such websites. Furthermore, knowing about the security methods that can be used to protect the data in our PCs and also our social network accounts will help to reduce the threat of data piracy and theft. Governments around the world are also becoming aware of this matter.

Recently, the Indian Government made the Right to Privacy a fundamental right, enabling citizens to sue the related parties if their privacy has been violated, be it a private organization or even the Government! Future Consumer and Digital Laws in every country should be made to address such issues, thus blocking the loopholes in the Cyber security.

The E-World is becoming interesting and innovative day by day and facilities such as Artificial Intelligence(AI), Digital Payment Schemes, Cloud Technology, Smart Houses and other Smart technologies would definitely make the future lifestyle hassle-free, but such Technological power comes with great responsibility. Proper procedures should also be introduced to reduce the chance of online privacy issues.

Here’s a few tips to keep in mind the next time you open your browser!

  1. Do an assessment of your online activities.
  2. Install the latest antivirus software on all your devices.
  3. Use a personal Virtual Private Network (VPN).
  4. Be careful what you share on social networking sites.
  5. Follow these email security rules;
  • Exercise caution when opening emails, clicking on links, or downloading attachments
  • Do not download any attachments if the email seems suspicious, even if the email is from the person that you know
  • Lastly, use a secure email service.
  1. Make sure shopping sites are secure.
  2. Use strong passwords.
  3. Delete or clear the tracking cookies.
  4. Make sure the top of your browser reads HTTPS instead of HTTP in the URL bar whenever you are sending or receiving data (this ensures that the path to the destination server is secure).

Computer Emergency Readiness Team or CERT ( is available for all the issues regarding the Cyber security and Privacy issues.

Rtr. Ashen Hirantha

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GeneralGrowth Hacks

The Importance of Being on Time.

George Washington was the 1st President of the United States of America. Among many of his traits that make him one of the most venerated leaders ever, was his regard to being on time. Punctuality is one of the most important qualities of a great leader, gentleman or lady.

Once George Washington wanted to buy a horse and asked a man to bring about a few horses by his stable by five. This man got 15 minutes late (naturally like any of us) and asked the stable caretaker for Washington. Caretaker replied, “Mr. Washington was here for you at five and since you weren’t here he left for another business matter”.

George was never ever late for his Congress Meetings either. Not only that, he also had a fixed time for his meals. When he invites his Congress Members for a meal, they make sure that they arrive on time, since George doesn’t wait for his guests, but will start eating his meal on the specified time. His cooks “wait for no one”. Once his Secretary got late for a meeting and blamed it on the tardiness of her watch. George replied, “either you get a new watch or I’ll get a new Secretary”.

For Washington, being on time was a way of showing respect to others, and he expected to be treated with the same level of respect in return. We may no longer live in an age of knickers and powdered wigs, but being punctual is just as important as it ever was. It has been called “a homely, but solid virtue,” and it certainly doesn’t cause one’s breast to swell in the way that pondering courage or resolution does. But related as punctuality is to discipline and self-mastery, to integrity and respect, it is – if not particularly sexy – still an essential component of the character of an upstanding man.

The habit of being prompt once formed extends to everything — meeting friends, paying debts, going to church, reaching and leaving place of business, keeping promises, retiring at night and rising in the morning, going to the lecture and town-meeting, and, indeed, to every relation and act, however trivial it may seem to observers.

–William Makepeace Thayer, Tact and Grit, 1882

Why is it important to be punctual?

  1. Being punctual strengthens and reveals your integrity 
    Telling someone that you’ll be there at 8:00 means you have made a promise. If you arrive at 8:10 then you have broken that promise.
  2. Being punctual shows, you are dependable
    A man can always be found at his post, carrying out the duties needful for that time. People know they can rely on such a man – if he says he will be there, he’ll be there. But if a man is not punctual, others cannot depend on him — they do not know where he will be when they need him.
  3. Being punctual builds your self-confidence
    Showing up on time not only tells other people you are dependable, it teaches you that you can depend on yourself. The more you keep the promises you make, the more your self-confidence will grow.
  4. Being punctual builds and reveals your discipline
    The punctual man shows that he can organize his time, that he pays attention to details, and that he can put aside this to do that – he can set aside a pleasure to take care of business.
  5. Being punctual shows your respect for others
    Being late is a selfish act, for it puts your needs above another’s. You want an extra minute to do what you’d like, but in gaining that minute for yourself, you take a minute from another, which is why….
  6. Being late hurts your professional career
    Whether you’re an employee or in business for yourself, being late can hinder your professional success. Many companies have strict policies about punctuality — get a few write-ups and you’re gone. Of course, if you arrive late to the job interview, you probably won’t land the position in the first place. And if you’re trying to win over a new client, arriving ten minutes late isn’t going to get things off on the right foot, in the same way that promising to get something to him by a certain date and then failing to do so, may have him looking elsewhere for your services.
  7. Being late takes a toll on your life
    Always running behind simply hurts you in all areas of your life. It results in lost opportunities: missing a plane, missing a meeting, missing an important part of a lecture, missing a wedding. It creates stress and can lead to car accidents and traffic tickets. It results in embarrassment and forces you to come up with excuses for why you’re late, putting a strain on your honesty. Basically, it makes your life more complicated.


 It has been said that time is money. That proverb understates the case. Time is a great deal more than money. If you have time you can obtain money—usually. But though you have the wealth of a cloak-room attendant at the Carlton Hotel, you cannot buy yourself a minute more time than I have, or the cat by the fire has.

Arnold Bennett, How to Live on Twenty-Four Hours a Day, 1910

As Sri Lankan’s, we are known to be “very much on time”. We can blame it on many factors. Obviously, the transportation system of the country is a mess and the huge traffic forms are another form of a disaster, but it is important that we become conscious of time and try to at least be there 10 minutes early so that all of the said delay factors are accounted for. Lack of discipline regarding punctuality is a major reason why we are stagnated in our development process. How annoyed do we get when a train is late? But who are we to judge if individually we are no different when it comes to being on time? It is said that the average delay time of a train in Japan is 7 seconds per year. In our country, of course it easily could be 1 hour per journey. There is a reason why those countries are so advanced and we are not. We have heard of foreign ministers who resigned just because a train got late. That is the amount of respect they have for being on time. Of course, punctuality is not something any of us can adapt overnight. But individually as Rotaractors, we can always try to make that change. We can start coming to meetings on time, and even get back home on time. We can avoid delays on project reports, just as we could do the same when it comes to other submissions. If it is honestly difficult to be on time the least you could do is excuse. But how can you be called a gentleman or a lady if you are known to be late? How can you be called a young leader?


 Art of Manliness, L. (2017). The Importance of Punctuality | The Art of Manliness. [online] The Art of Manliness. Available at: [Accessed 12 Aug. 2017].


Rtr. Shalutha Jayakody


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GeneralGrowth Hacks

A Guide To Approaching Sponsors


Rotaractor or not, we have all organized projects at some points in our life, and most projects require us to find some sort of finance to fund it. All of us dread the specific moment in a meeting when the President or Chairperson looks right into your eyes  and asks

How much money have you found so far?

As much as some of us hate it, finding finance and sponsors is part and parcel of organizing any event and it is our duty to contribute to this as much as possible. It is for this specific reason that we, at the Rotaract Club of Achievers Lanka Business School have compiled a few points on how to approach sponsors.

The secret to approaching sponsors, is following a process. What is the process you ask? Well let’s get right down to it!


Read through the project proposal and get an idea aboutPicture1

  • The Club/organizers.
  • The gist of the project.
  • What the project needs.
  • What the project can offer.

Ensure that you have enough information to convince your target to sponsor your event.


Having a list of companies is always useful, as this can also be recycled from project to project. Do not bias your list on an industry (i.e “how could Company A sponsor our event when they have nothing in common?”), as there can be innovative solutions which can be thought of.

Remember, there is no harm in trying!


Do some extensive research on those companies. It is especially good to mark down companies which have a new product or service, as they would be more open to advertising. You would come across such companies when scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed, and it is a good habit to make a mental note at that moment.


Come up with methods and means of marketing your event to each company.

Be innovative!


An elevator pitch is a brief, persuasive speech that you use to spark interest in what your organization does, a project, idea, product – or in yourself. A good elevator pitch should last no longer than 20 to 30 seconds.

In simple terms, imagine you got into an elevator with somebody and the doors just close. You only have time till the doors open to convince that person that your project is worth a shot. This is essentially what you would have to do when you make your first call to the company.

Remember your aim at this point is to get a meeting! Do not expect a sponsorship to be given on your first call.

A common mistake that is made when making the call is saying   “we are looking for sponsors”. It is extremely generic and does not incite interest in your proposition. Instead, the words “we have an innovative investment opportunity for your company”would have a more appealing effect.

Another important point to remember is that upon getting the meeting, people  tend to keep the phone, only to remember that they have not got any information on where to meet, when to meet, etc.

Therefore ensure you get

  • The persons name.
  • The persons designation.
  • A meeting date.
  • A meeting location.

Sending a meeting invite might be useful too.


As weird as it sounds, stalking the person you are going to meet is always useful. Getting to know his likes, dislikes and any other useful information that would ensure a more productive meeting can sometimes be the difference between making or breaking a deal. That being said, do not overdo it!


Its meeting day!

  • Make sure your are in proper attire. Office wear is always a safe option. Remember, first impressions matter.
  • Ensure that your necessary documents and items are ready. This usually includes a printed proposal, a laptop or tablet to show any intended videos and visiting cards.

Punctuality is key!

STEP 08 – DO YOUR THING!Picture7

  • Break the ice first, a random comment about the traffic or the weather is a safe option.
  • Question and understand what they are trying to sell.
  • Negotiate- remember, they are smart, we are smarter!

Make good use of all your preparation, and try your best to leave a good impression.


Your job is not done once you leave the meeting. Regardless of whether your meeting was successful or not send an email thanking him/her for taking time off to meet you. Also remember to send them anything you promised to send, as soon as possible.



A LOE is a document that states all the conditions agreed upon by both parties, and it is legally binding.

If the meeting is successful, it is a good practice for both parties to sign an LOE to ensure that the promises and conditions that have been agreed upon are clear.


Make sure they are happy before, during, and after the event, and ensure that all conditions in the LOE on your side are met, so as to avoid any unwanted issues.

Follow up accordingly and keep in touch.

If all goes well, you’ll have a very satisfied sponsor who will be itching to join up for your next project too!


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