In step with music they could not hear

By Shalomi Daniel

Dancing beautifully and coordinating their moves perfectly to the music and rhythm, the brightly clad dancers had the audience enraptured. The audience ranging from foreign dignitaries to toddlers soon joined in clapping their hands and tapping their feet.

The dancers were girls who were hearing impaired. Those gathered at the Grand Ballroom at the Galle Face Hotel on April 5 were treated to an entertaining evening of music and dance as the Differently Abled Branch of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association presented "You are very special".

The chief guest at the event was Sunethra Bandaranaike, Chairperson Sunera Foundation. The event saw the participation of differently abled Girl Guides from nine institutions which cater to the differently abled consisting of the Sight and Hearing Impaired, Downs Syndrome and Slow Learners. Dhanangi Fernando and Nadeeka Samarakoon (currently an Assistant Teacher at Ladies' College, Colombo 7) both of whom are also differently abled also performed.

The ambience was one of love and warmth as all rallied around the girls to support and encourage them. Long and tedious hours of practice and travelling - for some had come from as far as Jaffna- paid off as the girls pulled off an outstanding performance. Canadian High Commissioner Bruce Levy and American Ambassador Patricia Butenis were also present.

The well planned concert was organized to create awareness in society of the great potential and talent that the differently abled community possesses. It was also a fund raiser for the International Camp that is being organized by the Differently Abled Branch of the Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association. The camp will be held in Colombo from August 11 to 17, under the theme "Creating Our Future". As many of the differently abled Girl Guides may not get an opportunity of going abroad, the camp would be the means by which they will meet sister Guides from other parts of the world.

Guest of Honour Dr. Firdosi Rustom Mehta, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Sri Lanka was so taken up by the performance that he invited some of the girls to perform at the World Health Day programme.

Those who wish to lend a hand with the international camp either by donating money or helping at the camp can contact Sri Lanka Girl Guides Association at 10 Marcus Fernando Mawatha, Colombo 7 or call them on 2695720. They can also be reached at or

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