'Samanalaya 2010', a high quality show by disabled youth
We witnessed a rare performance of high quality presented by "Samanalaya
2010", the drama workshop initiated by the Sunera Foundation recently.
The Foundation has embarked on a meaningful project to develop,
stimulate and strengthen the aesthetic talents of the younger
This particular workshop centres on drama encompassing its diverse
aspects namely, acting, singing, dance, gesticulation and miming. The
entire audience appreciated and admired the roles played by both males
and females. It was incredible that disabled persons could act in such a
magnificent and superb manner enthralling the entire audience.
The themes of the two stylised dramas were based on the attitudes of
human beings towards innocent animals and inanimate objects such as
trees in the jungle. The two dramas highlighted the violent acts of
human beings who were aspiring to take away the life of innocent
The disastrous acts of our human beings who were anxious to destroy
the trees which are found in the jungles without considering its evil
consequences and the immense value of the flourishing trees.
The two dramas were very attractive and extremely effective that most
of the spectators in the audience were almost spellbound. The gathering
in the audience were almost astonished at the manner these actors and
actresses with diverse disabilities could act so naturally depicting a
clear visual picture of the dramatic situations they endeavoured to
portray through their gracious energetic and lively acting. The
overjoyed audience cheered heartily.
This was a novel experience for those subjected to diverse
disabilities who were deprived of such opportunities to display their
inherent talents and create a resounding impression in others.
These performances should be considered a medium to express their
feelings, emotions and sensitiveness which could be a heart-rending
experience for the audience. But for them it is an occasion emanating
The Chairperson of the "Sunera Foundation", Sunethra Bandaranaike
should be commended and congratulated for mooting this laudable project
mainly to develop the creative skills of the vulnerable and marginalised
boys and girls subjected to disabilities and who are with special needs
and under special care.
Dhammika Gamage, the Field Manager said workshops are conducted in
various parts of the country and the participants are properly trained
to present their roles. This vividly displays that the project initiated
had been broad-based to cover a considerable number of participants.
It is envisaged that drama, music and dance are a therapeutic device
to get considerable relief from some aliments. The complacence of mind a
disabled person gains through these aesthetic items and the ecstasy he
experiences motivates him to be active and forget his misery, discontent
The entire project is an illustrious and humanitarian campaign to
embark on rendering social service and develop the skills of the younger
generation with special needs.
Invariably it tends to eliminate the indignation afflicted with a
group of human beings who really need our loving kindness, compassion
(The writer was a former Director of Education and is at present the
Director of Education Division of HelpAge Sri Lanka.)