The AIA Poson Safety Programme, AIA’s flagship CSR commitment to Sri Lanka, successfully ended for 2022, with zero deaths reported due to drowning in and around the sacred city of Anuradhapura in the month of June.
As a result of this programme, the thousands of pilgrims that visited Anuradhapura this Poson were able to bathe safely in the surrounding lakes and reservoirs to cleanse themselves before engaging in their religious rituals.
AIA Insurance’s commitment towards the AIA Poson Safety Programme goes back to 1993 where AIA together with Sri Lanka Lifesaving and Sri Lanka Police facilitated lifeguards across most reservoirs and lakes around Anuradhapura to ensure that pilgrims were safe when they bathe in the bodies of water. In this 27th year, the programme was held across three days, covering Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and Mihintale and facilitated 500 lifeguards across 22 reservoirs. AIA also marked warning signs around the areas on where it is dangerous and safe to bathe while creating awareness on the dangers of drowning through displays, signboards, hoardings, and pennants across the Anuradhapura District, to encourage pilgrims to be cautious.
Despite the current economic challenges, AIA was determined to continue its societal endeavours. Having saved many lives and achieving zero deaths, indeed highlights the importance of this societal endeavour.
“I am so deeply grateful and indebted to the volunteers who saved mine and my son’s life” said a rescued pilgrim, adding “we come on pilgrimage to Anuradhapura every year, but this was the first time my son visited Anuradhapura for poson with so many dreams to achieve ahead in life. This initiative organised to ensure the pilgrims’ safety is meritorious because if not for them my family would have lost two lives unnecessarily.”
AIA’s Chief Executive Officer Chathuri Munaweera noted, “As Sri Lankans, this is a time that we need to find ways to help each other. Seeing thousands of Sri Lankans gathering to Anuradhapura to celebrate Poson irrespective of the challenges in transportation and being there for them to ensure their safety was such a heartening experience. As always AIA kept our promise of safety in this program and over the years have helped to save over 200 lives. This year too AIA’s Senior Management was at site in Anuradhapura together with our project team and Wealth Planners showing our commitment to the cause. I am so grateful and thankful to our partners – Sri Lanka Lifesaving, Sri Lanka Police, Sri Lanka Navy and the Civil Security Division who so enthusiastically support AIA’s Poson Safety Programme with their lifeguards each year in this great cause of protecting lives.”