Me and my wife Sunethra Galgamuwa was gifted with a baby girl after 3 boys in the year 1992.The age gap between our youngest boy and the daughter, Jinendhi is 8 years. She was born on a special day, 29th February. The Gynecologist was happy as his birth day was also the 29th February. He would have noticed an abnormality in her. My wife being a science graduate also identified the characteristic features of Down syndrome. We went to meet a pediatrician who examined the baby and said she is a useless baby. This made us really upset and hurt over the words the doctor used to inform about the girl. But he may have wanted to tell the truth.
In brief we were determined to give the best for the girl. Started reading books met few other good and kind hearted pediatricians .One lady doctor said that god gives the weakest flower to the best parents, and also she explained that very normal children become really problem cases in some families. She advised to train the child with care.
As parents we started reading articals on Down syndrome , we became members of the Down Syndrome Association in London ,received many books and material from them. We managed to train Jinendhi, sent her to a special school and gave her the maximum possible with available resources.
The work shop was conducted by Miss Dakshika Bandarnayaka BASLP under Graduate of Chandrasekhar Institute of Speech and Hearing Bangalore India who was the main Lecture. 15 teachers for special education participated in the workshop.
Mrs.Rathnayaka, Director of The Special Education division of the Department education thanked the organizers as this was the first of this kind of a workshop conducted in the central Province..
Children with special needs along with their parents from 4 schools gathered at Kingwood College, Kandy and proceeded to Bellwood Cultural Centre of National Youth Services council.
The Seeta Devi Girls College organized a talent show by children with special needs on the 21st March 2011 to mark the world Down Syndrome Day. GEYEF was one of the sponsoring organizations for this colour full event Miss Jinendhi Galgamuwa was the chief guest as she was one of the old girls of the special education unit of the school.
Directors of the department of education ,teachers and parents also participated. Miss. Jinendhi Galgamuwa lighted the lamp along with the guest of honors.
A service program to send students to INDIAN universities. Mr. Galgamuwa visited Bangalore India to do few university placements On his visit, associate professor Dr. Subar Ready of University of Bangalore gave him the Academic Directory of Bangalore University, from which he came to know the degree, B.Sc. Speech and Hearing. He new it is some thing related to her daughters condition. Then he went to Chandrasekhar Institute of Speech and Hearing and met Dr. Uma Subramanian, Dean of the institute, affiliated to Bangalore university . This is how Mr. Galgamuwa identified the degree, He says that because of his daughter Jinendhi he was able to guide 57 students to earn this degree and became professional doctors in this special field. There will be more as Mr.Galgamuwa annually sends 10 students to India for this four year medical degree ,BASLP. Jinendhi has created opportunity to students to earn this degree.
Miss Dakshika Bandaranayaka was admitted as the 1st, Sri Lankan student to receive a placement and later on to graduate with a BASLP.. After completing the 1st degree in India she received a scholarship to earn her PhD in USA. Currently she is a consultant Dr. in ASLP (PhD in Audiology and Speech language Pathology) at the Maryland hospital, USA. During the past 22 years 57 Sri Lankan students have graduated in BASLP.. A majority has gone abroad for their postgraduate degrees while only 7 remained in Sri Lanka. This is a long term service and a contribution in serving differently able children in the world.
Present Board of Directors at the e- meeting held on 10th April 2014 decided to consider the children with special needs as one of GEYEF main and major projects.