at the Cancer Hospital
Vibrant and colourful scenes make
up the majority of paintings done by the children of
the Maharagama Cancer Hospital. While Sakura (11) chose
a group of parrots, Prabath (12) portrayed the elephants
at Pinnewala, Buddhika (14) a fisherman and Nimasha
a lotus pond, all depicting happy memories.
over the last year, the 43 pictures at the Art Exhibition
held at the hospital between October 2 and 4 were done
by children who attend the Play House. Some of the paintings
were dedicated to their friends, Malith Gayasham and
others who had passed away a few weeks ago.
It can't be much fun for children
at the Maharagama Cancer Hospital to live there for
months together. They often have to miss school and
can neither see their friends nor play with them. Hence
the art classes offered at the Play House within the
hospital premises is something they look forward to.
Play House has been equipped and staffed by the Overseas
School of Colombo since 2001 to cater to the residents
of the children's ward. Theja Sandhya Kumari, Facilitator,
sees about 30 students who come in between their treatment
each day to learn maths, handwriting, stories, handwork
and art between 9 and 4 pm.
Currently there are about a 100 children
being treated at the hospital for leukaemia and blood
related cancers. According to
Dr. Mrs. N. Paranagama, Deputy Director,
their treatment is painful often causing considerable
discomfort. "Art especially is very relaxing for
children as well as their parents," the doctor
says, adding that the children work well with the teacher.