CCC line Bikeathon 2019 | Sunday Observer

CCC line Bikeathon 2019

The CCC line Bikeathon 2019 concluded at the Independence Square last week. Many cyclists including foreign volunteers had cycled 1333 kilometres across the island to create awareness on suicide prevention. The organisation which operates a suicide prevention line is headed by its Manager Ranil Thilekeratne and founding Director Jetha Dewapura who lives in Australia. Ranil explained “The toll free number is 1333. We have trained counselors who will take calls daily from 9am to 9pm in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The CCC (courage, compassion, commitment) aims to prevent suicide and also guide people out of turbulent crisis, giving them hope for the future”

Ranil has been able to identify the needs of the youth and the reasons that lead to depression and suicide. One is the lack of opportunity. Many rural youth feel they are left out in comparison to the young folk in Colombo. This also stems from their inability to communicate in English. Some are bullied in rural schools for simple things like wearing reading glasses. The mindsets of these youth and the adults living around them have to be changed. Ranil also realized the impact and dangerous influence of broken romantic relationships and rejection among youth. This seems to be a major factor leading them to contemplate suicide. Young people in rural areas don’t have mature adults who can sit and talk to them. They also endure social stigma. Surprisingly, in the innermost rural areas he has met very young couples, who have been given in marriage as an escape from poverty. These young folk don’t have a mature mindset and soon the marriage turns bitter, leading to one spouse going away. Some live in an atmosphere of domestic abuse. The village mentality seems to be too self-righteous and dictates certain harsh outcomes. Ranil Thillekeratne has found many young boys and girls who have been subject to abuse. These young ones feel ashamed and are afraid. You must talk and open up. Don’t be shy. Come out of the shadows – call our toll free line 1333.” World renowned cricketer Kumar Sangakkara is the brand ambassador for the CCC suicide prevention line. –DJ