Michelle Dilhara multifaceted personality, actress, environmental activist,author,social activist ,philanthropist above all “the voice for the voiceless” – by Sunil Thenabadu
Hatharasinghege Michelle Dilhara ( born 1 May 1996) was renowned before she became an actress environmental activist,author,social activist and a philanthropist. One of the most popular television actresses in Sri Lanka, Dilhara is best known for playing the role of “Podi Paththarakari” in the popular television serial “Salsapuna” and the role of “Ayoma” in the serial “Sudu Andagena Kalu Awidin” Apart from acting, she also engages in various philanthropic activities and is an environmentalist, social activist, and an author takes precedence.. In 2019 Dilhara received the National Youth Icon Award at the World Youth Summit held in New Delhi, India for her book “Social Invisibility” is not a Fiction, it Exists” and for her “Theory of Alternative Social Cogwheel”. In 2020 Dilhara won the Best Upcoming Actress award at the Raigam Tele’es awards ceremony for her role in the critically acclaimed serial Sudu Andagena Kalu Awidin. For the same role, she also won the Best Upcoming Actress award at the 2019 Sumathi Awards as well as won the State Award at 15th Television State Award festival in 2021.
Currently, she performs her role as the Earth Network Ambassador for Sri Lanka She is also is an activist and advocate of NET ZERO and Carbon Neutrality were she had collaborated with the Korean Ambassador to create a framework to implement Sustainable Development Goal 13 the net zero initiative within the Korean Embassy in Sri Lanka. [ ]
She was born in Ragama as the eldest of three siblings. She has two younger sisters: Mishen Prasadika and Rochelle Fiona. Her father, Hatharasinghege Premawardena, is a businessman and her mother, E. Jean Stella Fernando, is a housewife. She started her education from Negombo South International School and then moved to Newstead Girls College Negombo got GCE O/L and Adv/Level
During school times, at the age of 11, Dilhara had started practicing martial arts. Meanwhile, she also participated in several local and international Karate championships and won several medals. In 2010, she won the gold medal at the 2nd International Goju-rvu Karate Open Championship..
Dilhara is currently studying for an External Degree in IT and the Higher National Diploma in Psychology. She is also following a course on Nurturing Care Framework for Early Childhood Development under the Senior Lecturer Duminda Guruge, at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka
Dilhara was a member of the school’s drama team where she started to act on the school stage on several occasions. After completing the A/L examination, she joined Abhina Academy conducted by veteran artist Anoja Weerasinghe in July 2016. According to Dilhara, Weerasinghe was her first mentor in acting, where she learned yoga as well as voice controlling and facial expressions. Later in October 2016, she joined Damayanthi Fonseka’s acting Academy for further knowledge based on emotional balancing and character adaptation in drama. Then she joined Abhiranga Art Center Negombo, conducted by Randika Wimalasooriya in June 2017 to further learn Drama and Theater. During this period, she got the opportunity to study Art from the Indian Theater Director, Ujjwal Singha.
In 2016, Dilhara made her first teledrama appearance in Dedunnai Adare directed by Saranga Mendis. Then she acted in the popular television serial Salsapuna directed by Nalan Mendis and telecasted on Sirasa TV, which made her breakthrough in the acting career. She was selected for the role “Preethiwa” popularly known as “Podi Paththarakari” by Sandhya Mendis, Chairman of Susila Productions. Even though the character was introduced in the middle of the serial, it was highly popularized among the public. During the same period, she then appeared with the leading role in the first Mobile drama Dhara, produced by Susila Productions.
In 2017, Dilhara was selected to the television serial Poori directed by Ranil Kulasinghe, which was telecasted on Independent Television Network. In the serial, she played the role of a village girl named Maali. In the same year, she was cast for the fantasy teledrama Bodhi, directed by Sanjaya Nirmal. It was telecasted on Sirasa TV, where Dilhara played the role “Goddess Kali”. In late 2017, she appeared in the serial Emy as the titular character “Emy”. It was directed by Sanjaya Nirmal and telecasted on ITN. Her character was highly popularized.
In 2018, she acted in the popular serial Sidu telecasted on TV Derana and directed by Thilina Boralessa. She acted as the “daylight angel”, who helped and protected Sidu during his journey with the little monk Soratha. During the same period, she acted in the science fiction television serial Thuththiri, with the role “Urmila” directed by Sanjaya Nirmal The drama is also considered to be the first Sifi comedy mega drama in Sri Lanka.
In 2019, Dilhara acted in several television serials across many genres. She acted in the popular serial Sudu Andagena Kalu Awidin aired in Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation, directed by Sunil Costa. The serial was critically acclaimed and won several awards at local television award festivals. In the serial, Dilhara played the role of “Ayoma”, who is a teenage girl facing the hardships of life. This marked her first major role in the television screen. Later she acted in the serial Haratha Hera directed by Chandika Wijayasena. She played the role of a wealthy girl named Pabasara.
In mid-2019, she portrayed the character “Kaweesha” in the television series Dadayam Bambaru directed by Sanjaya Nirmal, which was aired in Swarnavahini.] Later during same the year, she acted in the television serial Kisa, which was her second main role, directed by Nimal Rathnayake. Then she was cast for the serial Sihina Kumari directed by Roshan Weerasinghe where Dilhara played a dual character of two sisters, “Amaya and Himaya”. In 2020, she started to act in the comedy thriller serial Sihina Samagama which is currently aired on Swarnavahini. In October 2020, she appeared in another thriller serial Can You Hear Me currently aired on National Television. The series is the first-ever attempt to take Sri Lankan teledrama to international audience via social media where it is airing with English subtitles
Dilhara made her film debut in the 2018 sports film, Udumabara, as a supporting role, that of “Michelle”, a talented athlete who competed against the lead character.
She had portrayed roles in around twenty five tele dramas ,presently she ia portraying a major role in Podu season 2.Apart from acting, she was also involved in several television commercials including popular the Maliban tea advertisements in 2017 and 2018. Later in 2018, she hosted the musical program 16+ telecasted on Sirasa TV.
In 2019, she hosted the entertainment program Weekend Vinode along with Udith Abeyrathne and Rukshana Dissanayake which aired every Saturday on Swarnawahini In 2018, she acted in the music video Hitha Mage Nokiyama sung by a newcomer Dilani Kasthuriarachchi. In 2019, she acted in Nilan Hettiarachchi’s music video Adara Belman. She also collaborated for the music video Umathu Prema Kumara sung by Sashika Nisansala in 2019. In 2020, she acted in the music video Nethra along with Damitha Abeyratne. The song was voiced by Abhisheka Wimalaweera and dedicated for the Mother’s Day.
In 2019, she wrote the book “Social Invisibility is not a Fiction it Exists”. The book explains about the people affected by social invisibility due to race, negligence, discrimination, age and language barrier, and how to minimize social invisibility and social exclusion.
Since 15 years of age, Dilhara wanted to be a humanitarian. She started to conduct free English scholarship programs for the financially challenged students in Sri Lanka with the support of the English lecturer Danushka Clark In 2013, she completed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test as well. In 2018, Dilhara initiated “The invisible to visible movement” for the people who are affected by social invisibility and social exclusion. Started with 200 students in Divulapitiya town, the program has now grown up to 1000 students eventually. The scholarship program was initiated as a sub-project of The Invisible to Visible movement. The project was highly praised by the people island wide which enhances them to develop their communication skills with the world and to create a path for them to approach the international job market through online jobs.
In 2020, Dilhara founded the community center called “Sehehas” Arana for the retired citizens who are affected by Social invisibility and exclusion in Divulapitiya vicinity ] With the community center, she released her first theory “The Theory of Alternative Social Cogwheel”, which is a sociological theory of how people are affected due to factors such as the elderliness ,disability, educational illiteracy, ,perils for senior citizens in getting new jobs, discrimination, and ferocity.
In 2016, Dilhara organized a campaign with Manusha D. Navarathna, an active environmental activist, to diminish Conservation Dilapidation concerning climate change. The campaign had taken place at the Negombo beach premises for three consecutive days from 26 to 28 February 2016 to remove all the plastic objects that were circling on the beach. In May 2017, she organized a campaign for her 22nd birthday to change the focus of the youngsters to support the poor to stand on their feet rather than wasting time on video games and such things. During her campaign, she along with many youngsters collected more than one thousand kilos of rice distributing them to the needy families in Pinnakalewattha village. Later in August during the same year, she along with Navarathna organized another project to plant 1000 trees as a solution to minimize the ongoing climate catastrophe. that has taken place due to global warning and climate change..The trees were planted in areas of katana in Gampaha district.
In January 2020, Dilhara conducted multiple awareness programs on climate change and social invisibility in universities, schools, newspapers, and television programs. In July 2020, Dilhara organized a three-day climate change camp for children, youngsters and teenagers along with Navarathna and Clark. The initiative encompasses involving the youth to restore the earth and make a better place to live in the future. The camp included activities to reduce the Environmental Degradation and organized beach cleanups, awareness programs, and campaigns like planting trees.]
On 7 March 2021, she conducted an awareness program on Climate Change and Global Warming at the Green Con 2021 event which was organized by the Interact Club of Wycherley International School where the event was held at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo. Meanwhile, on 29 April 2021, she conducted an awareness program on Food Wastage and Its Impacts on Environmental Pollution collaborating with Food, For All Kadamandiya Food Bank. She mainly focused on raising awareness of reducing food wastage which is a large contribution towards climate change and global warming and how to achieve the sustainable development Goal 2 Zero hunger by saving food that is wasted.
Dilhara conducted an awareness program on Climate Change and Social Invisibility at the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka. with Najith Guruge, Senior Lecturer of the Department of Health Promotion. The awareness program was conducted for the undergraduates in Faculty of Applied Sciences.
On 2 July 2020, she conducted another awareness program along with the senior lecturer Department of Accountancy and Finance Rasika Devundara at the Sabaragamuwa University.The program was based on Climate Change and Personality Development and was conducted for the students of the Faculty of Management Studies. The awareness program was conducted to make the students aware of the impacts of climate change as well as how to develop their personality and self-confidence as university students.
On 6 April 2021, Dilhara collaborated with Uva Wellassa University and organized a tree planting program in the university premises along with an awareness program. The program was initiated by the Career Guidance Unit Director Dr. Janaka Siyambalapitiya and Career Guidance Unit Councilor, Akila Aushada Bandara. The focus of the event was to inspire the university for the fight towards climate change and global warming. On 21 March 2021, she joined with University of Peradeniya , distributed rice bags and dry rations to elder homes that didn’t receive food due to the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic in Sri Lanka.
Dilhara organized a tree planting program with students at the University of Sri Jayewardenapura on 12 March 2021. Six different types of trees were planted in the university premises during the program. Dilhara also held an awareness program to the participants during the event as to how university students can contribute towards minimizing climate change and global warming. On 28 February 2021, she conducted a lecture on climate change “Hear Earth” which was organized by AIESEC in the University of Moratuwa. The program was presented with the aim of raising awareness on minimizing climate change, global warming, and pollution.
She collaborated with the IEEE WIE Student Branch affinity Group of General Sir John Kotalawela Defense University and conducted the program “EmpowHer” along with Professor Wasana Maithree Herath. The conference was organized with regard to celebrating International Women’s Day on 8 March 2021.
On 5 June 2021, she collaborated with University of Colombo had conducted an awareness program on Ecosystem Restoration along with Prof. Siril Wijesundara. The program was organized with the participation of Vice-Chancellor Senior Prof. Chandrika Wijerathna and Prof. Erandathie Lokuputiya with respect to the World Environmental Day 2021. On 26 June 2021, she collaborated with the Department of Marketing Management of University of Sri Jayawardenepura and distributed books and mobile tabs for students facing difficulty in education due to the prevailing COVID 19 pandemic.
On 12 September 2021, Dilhara collaborated with the University of Jaffna and conducted an awareness program on deforestation and global warning.The awareness program was conducted for the Rotaract undergraduates in Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna
In November 2018, Dilhara was the official host for the 2nd South Asian Youth Summit held in Sri Lanka. The event taken place with the participation of SAARC observer nation and personalities from across Asia. During the event, she won the Asia Inspiration Award 2018 for her contribution towards the South Asian philanthropy.
In November 2019, she hosted the World Youth Summit which was held in New Delhi, India.
On 22 April 2020, Dilhara was invited by the Earth day Network to feature in their My Future My Voice campaign. As the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement, the campaign was an environment platform for the youth to “Restore our earth”. She featured along with 50 other youths from around 17 countries on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. where she addressed the meeting on how to reduce the carbon footprint, aim for zero waste, development of renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save natural resources and educate the less fortunate. The event witnessed the participation of renowned global personalities including Pope Francis,Denis Haynes Albert 11 Prince of Monaco ,Al Gore,Patricia Espinosa,John Kerry,Zac Efron and Anil Kapoor..
Meanwhile, on 11 May 2020, she was appointed as the Earth Day Network Ambassador to Sri Lanka
On July 29, Dilhara participated in the World Rain Day virtual fest which was organized by the Earth Day Network. She featured with other celebrity Earth Day Network ambassadors such as British Indian musician and composer Soumik Datta, Thai Actor Alex Rendell.Bombay Jayashri Ramnath,Indian classical vocalist Kanushki Chakraborty,Indian composer Ricky Kei,Sonam Wanqchuk and Filipino actor Dingdong Dantees.
On 1 July 2021, she collaborated with the Korean Ambassador of Sri Lanka, Santhush Woonjin Jeong, and initiated the ‘Go Green Embassy’ program. The program was initiated with the aim of converting the Embassy to a Green Embassy thereby achieving Carbon neutrality and net-zero with respect to the P4G Seoul summit. During the program, a Mesua ferrea tree was planted at the Embassy premises symbolizing the Sri Lanka Korea friendship.
Dilhara has won several awards at international and local award festivals including, the South Asian Youth Summit and World Youth Summit. She also received an award from the Minister of youth and sports government of Malaysia Mr Sayed Saddiq.
Her beauty, poise, grace, and screen-appearance are always on point. Her appearance at all her events is undoubtedly stunning. Her untainted smile on her face is winsome. Being a multi-skilled artiste, she had marked an indelible milestone in her career as an actress. She is none other than the versatile award-winning actress Michelle Dilhara.. At present, the longest journey she has embarked on is a remarkable landmark even in our teledrama industry having portrayed roles in over twenty-five tele dramas.
Needless to say, our country has been plagued with Covid-19. Our youth can be seen leaving our country in search of greener pastures. In such a backdrop, young versatile actress Michelle Dilhara has dedicated her life to make our country a greener pasture.
She is a philanthropist ,with a percentage of her personal income she was able to distribute a ton of rice to more than 200 needy families who were financially affected.
Food items were distributed to the Dalupotha Sri Dharmarathanarama Temple under the guidance of Ven. Kalpe Dharmaloka Thera, during the Civid-19 catastrophe.
In addition, she has initiated another giant project on behalf of those affected by the Coronavirus.
Michelle had organised a project with the students of the Hanthana Conservation Society of Peradeniya University to distribute dry food items to elder’s houses.Michelle though very young is concerned of social problems. Already she has conducted more than 200 seminars to create an awareness on social invisibility, positive thinking, personality development, climate change, global warming and climate literacy in collaboration with school students, Youth Clubs and national universities such as Rajarata University, Sabaragamuwa University, Moratuwa University, General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Colombo University, Sri Jayewardenepura University, Jaffna University Interact Club of Whycherly International School and some Youth Clubs.
As a result of the Covid-19, students had to continue their studies online by using Tabs and mobile phones. But we know that those who hail from law income families cannot afford to get devices such as Tabs. Never did Michelle turn a blind eye to innocent children’s tears. The marketing Management Association of Jayewardenepura University has carried out a mammoth project called Nenasarin Senehasin. Michelle had made her contribution to the project with the pure intention of giving a ray of hope for the schooling children.
She had joined hands with the Nenasarin Senehasin 21” project organised by the Marketing Management Association of the Management Faculty of Sri Jayewardenepura university had distributed 10 Tabs for needy students..
She had collaborated with Uva Wellassa University to organise a Tree Planting program in the university premises along with an awareness program in order to encourage the university students to fight towards climate change and global warming. And also, I organised a tree planting program with Sri Jayewardenepura University where they were able to plant six types of various trees in the university premises.
Michelle has marked another significant milestone in her journey by becoming the “Earth Day Network Ambassador. Evidently, she has set out on a unique path to create an eco-friendly country. She was appointed as the Earth Day Network Ambassador to Sri Lanka by the Earthday Organisation. Her role as the EDN Ambassador is to diversify, educate and create awareness on climate literacy for young children. The Earthday is the world’s largest recruiter to the environmental movement which works with more than 150,000 partners in over 192 countries to drive a positive action for our planet.
Of course, Michelle belongs to the calibre of multifaceted artistes. The new publication titled “Social Invisibility is not a Fiction it Exists” was penned by Michelle. It is significant to mention that she had won the National Youth Icon Award for her new publication and theory (“Theory of Alternative Social Cogwheel”) in New Delhi, India. Michelle has paved the way for children to overcome language barriers through her projects. In addition, she has spearheaded several projects , ensuring the wellbeing of children’s houses and elder’s houses.
We all know that Michelle has a bright future in her acting journey. Her future plans to continue in the same vein currently working on her second book titled. The” Point of no Return” which is about the Net Zero, Climate Change and Global warming. As we know, we exist in an era where air pollution poses a threat to over 7 million people each year throughout the world.She has already come under the spotlight as an award winning actress her wish is to rebuild our country making history
Sunil Thenabadu in Brisbane
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