Pushpendra Albe, in Cricket Age, 10 November 2018 where the title is “Murali Helps All Communities Alike, So Who Can Complain?”
As a cricketer, Muttiah Muralitharan has been regarded as the greatest spinnerof all time. As a cricketer, his journey to become the living legend of the game by overcoming all the hurdles and controversies, was nothing sort of a spectacular fairy tale.
However, there is another side of Murali, which has turned out equally admirable. As a philanthropist, through his NGO Foundation Of Goodness (FOG), Murali have brought change in the millions of the Sri Lankans, irrespective of their caste, background or religion. Murali’s journey as a philanthropist in last one decade has transformed Sri Lanka’s poor communities and has opened the whole new world for the younger generations. With his manager and founder trustee of FOG Kushil Gunasekera, Murali has become a symbol of peace, harmony and has uplifted millions of lives. Those Tamil leaders, who are questioning Murali’s contribution to the community, must see the ground reality of bowling legend philanthropic achievements, before pointing fingers towards him!
Cricket Age has seen Murali’s BBC video go viral and quite a few Tamil community leaders have come forward to question his partiality towards the Sinhalese which is inaccurate since his work through the FOG in the Northern Region of Sri Lanka eliminates that doubt.
Being an ardent admirer of Murali and his cricketing prowess, Cricket Age would like to dispel this theory by stating that Murali with his charity FOG has helped 45,000 beneficiaries to rebuild their lives speedily in the North, post-conflict, short-term, mid-term and long-term as of now, including three permanent village centres of empowerment in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu serving rural, disadvantaged kids, youth and women amounting to 1,500 beneficiaries monthly to make better progress.
Additionally, in the last 8 years, the FOG, where Murali is a founding trustee, has been able to establish computer training centres, libraries, school development activities, infrastructure, deliver 4,000 bicycles, sports development, water purification, essential household items, scholarships, solar power lighting and the list goes on.
Murali and Gunasekera, through FOG, not only have given a much needed stability in these regions after the war, they have also created new opportunities for poorer people’s. They have made sure that their work and efforts benefits the last standing men and families of the community!
Especially for those, who had no resources, no opportunities to uplift their lives, FOG has made a big difference. With the efforts of FOG, now people’s, families of these regions has the access of job creating atmosphere, technology and education, that is a paramount of the success of any human society.
For younger generation, the FOG has done the miracles! At FOG educational centres, the poorer and rural kids can find world class teaching facilities, infrastructure and courses to compete the world from their backyards. The FOG has given millions of these kids wings to fly and fulfill their dreams!
Mind you, all these things, contribution and efforts are the responsibility of the government and those political leaders, whom the communities sends in the parliament. But, Murali, with his inherited philanthropic qualities, has become a one man army for the communities of these parts of the island. He never looked for government assistance or support. Instead, he has done all these wonders on his own!
And, the most important thing is that he has been doing this since last one decade without any agenda, expectations or return in the mind. In any part of the World, whenever a politician does something, he wants to cash it for his political background. In Murali’s case, he has done it for the community without any expectations!
At last, one must also admire Murali and Gunasekera for their dedication and commitment to the society. Murali is a living legend of the game, a worldwide popular figure. Gunasekera was one of the leading sugar businessmen of the island. And, don’t forget that while Murali is a Tamil, Gunasekera is a Sinhalese. But, for the betterment of the society, they have come together and are spreading peace, harmony and changing the lives of millions with their selfless efforts!
Whilst, everyone must salute them, unconditionally supports them and backs Murali for speaking the truth so forthrightly.
Murali and Gunasekera continue to walk the talk, delivering results as people don’t believe in what is said, rather in what is achieved.By and large the FOG, hrough its 11 empowerment centres island-wide, continues to help underserved rural population by supporting 15,000 beneficiaries monthly, free of cost from 400 villages irrespective of their backgrounds, humanely to alleviate the hardships of those in desperate circumstances in the most heartfelt manner.
As a charity and through the experience that anyone can see with the FOG, it is clear that they act in accordance with their mandate of bridging the gap between the urban and rural communities and are accountable and transparent while surpassing donor expectations.
Thus, the need of the hour is to harness the resources of amazingly talented and skillful individual Sri Lankan kids and youth to ensure greater prosperity for the island which we believe is what they are doing, hence Murali’s passion for being so vocal.
So, with keeping all the political agendas aside, everyone must support Murali’s statement that the priority is to help the poorest of the poor find their basic necessities before addressing broader concerns! Not only the Tamil community, entire Sri Lanka is fortunate that they have blessed with a sporting Legend, who is dedicated to the society which is a rare thing in modern professional world. So, everyone must support him to fulfill his dream to transform Sri Lanka a better country! Indeed, before pointing fingers towards him, Tamil leaders needs to think again!