Twenty eight year old Dimuthu Manjula, living at Belmont Estate in Kulandawa, is slow learner. He was just 15 years old when his father passed away, and thereafter, Dimuthu’s mother had to bring him up on her own. Time went by. His siblings got married and left home, but Dimuthu , the fifth in the family, could not move on with life with his disabled condition. He grew bored at home, and awkward around people.
His life took a new turn after he attended the first Sunera workshop in Akuressa. On the first few days at the workshop, Dimuthu was refusing to interact with the rest of the members. However, after seeing how much the others were enjoying singing and dancing, Dimuthu gradually started to respond. His mother and the trainers noticed a remarkable change in his behavior, from being an introverted boy clinging to his mother at all times, to socialising with his friends and trainers as well as showing great talent in dance and drama.
Today, Dimuthu is the proud owner of a successful small scale banana cultivation which he started in his home garden, assisted by his mother. To show his gratitude to those who are dear to him, Dimuthu distributed his first harvest among his trainers, friends and their parents at the workshop.
That day, his mother was in tears; tears of joy on realizing how much her son has improved over the years. “I am happy with how far my son has come. I never thought he would change so much. I was worried about him, but my mind is more at ease now
“I am happy to see my son perform in plays and socialise with people,” she says. “I have also noticed how other parents who have kids like mine respond when they see their children perform, laugh and have a good time”, she adds.
Explaining what the workshop means to him, Dimuthu says
I really like to come for the Sunera class and I am very happy. I work and plant at home and no longer feel lonely. I acted in a Sunera play. I enjoyed the trip to Colombo; we sang and danced in the bus all our way there and we were given delicious food.