At a young age of 19 years, Harini Silvaa is the founder of Ray of Sunshine by Harini, a non-profit organization to help the needy. She is a competitive swimmer who represents Sri Lanka in international competitions. LaysaLaysa.com is glad to interview her.
Please tell us about yourself.
I am a 19 years old student, born in the city of Colombo, raised by a single mother. I am extremely independent, presently pursuing my Bachelors Degree in Fashion and Textile Designing at the Academy of Design, Sri Lanka. My field of interests varies into many segments with a little bit of complexity.
To be precise, I am passionate about being involved in charity services, singing, painting, traveling, and of course modeling which is my sub-career. I have represented my country in international swimming meets and currently representing the Sri Lanka Army swimming team. I am the founder of Ray of Sunshine by Harini, a non-profit charity organization involved in helping the people in need.
Why did you choose Fashion and Textile Designing?
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted incorporate the things which ran in my mind into an art form. When I grew up, I realized I had great passion for fashion and trends. So I wanted to use this talent of mine to make a positive change in an individual’s sense of fashion, hence I decided Fashion and Textile Designing was the ideal way to execute it.
What is your inspiration to become a model?
I was inspired by my beloved mother Ms. Chrishanthi Dias, who was crowned as Miss. Sri Lanka in 1988. She always dressed me up fashionably ever since I was a kid. Looking at her pictures, seeing the achievements she has made, I thought to myself that I will be up there someday just like her. Ever since that, I have been working hard on it to make that dream of mine come true.
How do you keep healthy and fit for modeling?
I have been an athlete since I was a kid. I have been engaged in swimming since I was 12, hence I’ve been dealing with a hectic daily routine whereas I have to wake up 4.00am every day to start my training at 4.45am, which goes on for 3 hours and then attending school and tuition classes, and then again heading back for evening training which goes on from 5.00pm – 8.30pm, which sometimes even drags till 9.00pm with fitness sessions once in a while.
Since I was used to such a hectic routine being a kid, I am still able to continue doing the same and also maintain a certain diet which helps me to be in shape. Even though I am a foodie lover who loves eating sweets and junk food, I have sacrificed all those temptations to achieve my goals in the field of modeling and maybe one day, I hope to eat twice as every meal I crave. Hehe!
When did you find out that you can swim competitively?
As I mentioned, I started my swimming career at the age of 12 with the help of my coach, Mr. Bharatha from Panadura (A city few miles away from Colombo) who realized my potential and encouraged me to do better. He believed that I will be able to perform well and I was able to grab the championship on my first ever competitive meet. I have participated in both national and international swimming meets.
Tell us more about your international swimming experience.
I have represented Sri Lanka in highly competitive international swimming meets a few times, I have gained an immense experience by being exposed internationally and competing with highly talented athletes from many countries. Biggest lesson I learned from this was how to be committed and do my best to succeed despite the fact no matter how hard and stressful things could get. The following are the international meets in which I have represented my country:
• Represented Sri Lanka for 4th Asian Schools Championship held at China, Macau.
• Represented Sri Lanka for Asian Championships held at Dubai .
• Represented Sri Lanka for Asian Age Group Championship at Indonesia .
• Represented Sri Lanka for Chularborn Aquatic Swimming championship at Bangkok.
What qualities do you think are necessary to be a leader?
From my point of view, a great leader should be confident enough to deal with any type of personalities. Obviously the passion to do great things for the betterment of the society. ‘’You have to lead with enthusiasm and must have the willingness to help someone grow’’
How do you define success?
Success isn’t a fairy tale, it’s all about dedication, commitment and hard work. My accomplishments in terms of success so far was being able to represent my country as a national swimmer as well as being able to achieve my goal on losing weight from 78 kg to 52 kg by going through a transitional phase of 8 months while staying strong and not giving up.
How do you handle rejection?
From my perspective, there’s nothing more depressing in this world than handling rejection, especially being rejected by the ones you love.
To be honest, initially rejection is something which I couldn’t deal with but now rejection has become my greatest strength. It doesn’t make any lower but better than what I am.
What are your future plans?
My vision is to have a story which is worth telling and remembered, while being an inspiration for everyone, complete my Bachelors, start my own clothing brand and make it reach internationally. Also to keep initiating charity activities. I want to be among the leading models in the world as it is my greatest passion. I want to utilize the audience I gain for a good cause.
At last but not least, I want to provide all the luxury which my mom deserves for raising a stubborn kid like me and being a single parent, supporting me and pushing me to bring out the best and achieve my goals and to have a beautiful family with the person I am in love with, also I want to be in a capable position.
On a personal note:
I would like to say a few words to anyone out there who is suffering from anxiety and depression. Knowing and being through such a stage in life, I completely understand how it is feel worthless and hopeless but hey, you are beautiful and worthy. It is alright to be moody and depressed but always seek for, reach out to someone who would mean a lot to you, tell them how you feel and putting out what’s in your mind whilst receiving a few kind words from someone would do wonders in your life. It is ok to have scars and failures in life, eventually you will be able to transform it into your greatest strength and have a beautiful story worth sharing with the world.
Always remember, success comes with so many obstacles and all you need is the right people around you that makes your life amazing and easy and that will be your friends and family. I would like to give special credits to my beloved mother, my boyfriend, my college friends and not to forget Mr. Brian Kerkoven who is being my mentor, helping to excel in my modeling career. These are the set of people who has helped me out to be the person I am today.