Some children are born totally deaf. Many with hearing and sight impediments. The World Bank says 98% disabled children including deaf and blind in developing countries do not attend schools. Also 40 million such disabled children at primary school age do not receive any education at all.
This group of children will be socially neglected underprivileged and marginalized. They would need training and integration into society with communication skills and other capabilities. The Deaf and Blind School was established at Rathmalana under the patronage of Christian missionaries. Children at the school have so far been trained without the latest equipment.
Realising the situation, Dialog Telekom donated an audiology centre equipped with sophisticated electronic equipment. Children hearing impediments could be tested to identify the nature of such defects with reference to treatment, training and finally getting them into mainstream society. However, the centre will not belong to the school, although it would be located within its precincts.
The ceremony opened with deaf children articulating the national anthem and deaf and blind students singing. This evoked an emotional response from the gathering.
Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya, CEO, Dialog Telekom, delivering the welcome address said that was to empower traditionally marginalized groups in society and enrich Sri Lankan lives. The audiology centre cost Rs. 30 million, sponsored by Dialog Telekom.
Dialog has been of assistance to other charities as well. In this effort, they are, metaphorically speaking, the eyes and ears for a large number of underprivileged in society.
According to the Bishop of Colombo, Rev. Duleep de Chickera, the christian Church had been pioneering work for the deaf and blind. This collaboration between Church and Dialog telekom was deeply appreciated.
According to him these two bodies can continue this partnership for the deaf productively and later diversify for like-minded underprivileged.
Chanaka de Silva, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind delivered the Vote of Thanks.
Prof.Harindra de Silva was also present.