Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A story I must tell ...

I have a story to share with my friends. Two weeks ago Monday we visited the only Blind Elders Home in Sri Lanka at Godawaya, Ambalantota for our annual almsgiving for the Home's blind elders. The 27 elders at the Home range in age from 50 to 95.... Several others whom I knew over the years are now no more and a few lived beyond 100. The caring at the home by its dedicated care giver Latha miss (Ms. Latha) is amazing. A writer friend of mine once referred to her as a Bodhisathava (a Buddha in the making.)

When we were there Kusumawathi, an elder who is both blind and severely hard of hearing brought her hearing aid to us and asked to get it repaired for it had stopped working. I had once before, with the help of my friend Mr. Chandra Jayaratne got it repaired at the Services Centre for the Hearing Impaired located at Rajagiriya. I brought it there again last week and was told that the circuit was faulty beyond repair. A new hearing aid was costing between Rs 28,000 to 40,000, I was told.

I casually mentioned this to my friend Rotarian Supem de Silva. I called him to give my regards to him and his family, for I was in Colombo. He promptly said that there was a Rotary Project in Kandy that was issuing hearing aids and he would explore if he could get one for Blind Elder Kusumawathi. Within minutes he called me and said the Kandy Rotary Club was willing to donate one for her. That was last week Thursday. Upon an exchange of emails and my sending by email her prescription that same evening, the very next day, the club's team informed that they were sending it by courier to me, as I was returning back to my home in Kiula that day. It was done and I was able to hand over the hearing Aid on Monday this week (yesterday) and when it was worn by Blind Elder Kusumawathi, her eyes were filled with tears. She was so thrilled she gave merit to all and to those at the 'Hotala Club Kandy' meaning Rotary Club Kandy, for she was still getting used to her brand new instrument.

I am relating this story to pay my tribute and express my gratitude to the Rotary Club Kandy and to Rotarians, Supem, Jaliya, Gowry and to Daphne of the team that made it happen so swiftly. Thank you and in Blind Elder Kusumawathis's own words, 'Hamotama Niwan Sapa Labewa!'

I am aware that such things happen all the time among us. But yet I thought I must share this with you for this to me and to the Blind Elders at the Godawaya home is a memorable event of immense kindness and dedication to service.

In the picture are Blind Elder Kusumawathi and Latha miss.

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