Elmo Jayawardena,in Daily News, 1 June 2018, where the title is “Kindness t Its best”
Recently I stopped at a traffic light. A father and son walked on the pedestrian crossing. The father was holding the autistic boy’s hand, guiding him to the opposite pavement.
Probably, that is what he is doing from the time the child was born to the day the father dies. Such is the perpetual responsibility of a parent who raises an autistic child.
Dinesh Fernando is 31 years old and does not even have a bicycle to call his own.
He founded Mother Charity (www.mothercfsl.lk) This organization is a ‘daycare’ for autistic children. They have two homes, Pathum Uyana in Aluthgama and Niduk Piyasa in Puhulwella, Kirinda. Both places are housed in two temples. Dinesh is a Catholic, what has autism got to do with religion?
When I first met Dinesh, I thought he is a fool. He was making attempts to run a ‘day care centre’ for autistic children when he himself was barely managing to make ends meet. That was Pathum Uyana.
And 3 years later he started Niduk Piyasa still struggling to make ends meet. I was convinced he was a champion fool. It is a while since all this happened. Now I must admit that I am the fool. Dinesh plodded and pleaded and prayed and today he has more than 50 autistic children who attend his two centres.
I really do not know how he does it. But I know for sure he and his support team are doing a wonderful job of label-less charity, service of the purest kind.
I salute you Dinesh, I salute all those who are associated with you to pull off this magnificent service to humanity.
I saw the autistic boy crossing the road with his father, and I drove off.