True intelligence is not measured by book-learning alone but also through how people counter daily challenges. Kasun Chamara, 25, from Matara recently graduated from the prestigious Sri Jayawardenepura Management faculty. He has a muscle growth disorder, inherited from birth where his muscles cannot grow and thus he is disabled.
Despite all odds against him -- whether it was his disability or stifling financial issues -- he has succeeded in reaching academic greatness. His father is a driver in the University and his mother is unemployed. He is the eldest in his family and has two other siblings.
“From my childhood, I was fond of learning. Learning has always been a hobby to me. When I received my letter from the university, I was so ecstatic. It was the happiest day in my life. From that day onwards I knew that I was somehow going to become a degree holder and serve the nation,” he said.
He also elaborated about his condition, “I found a very slow growth of my muscles. This has been so since my birth. Previously I used to undergo physiotherapy, but now I have turned towards Ayurveda medicine and discontinued physiotherapy and I am not sure it is curable.
“I am extremely grateful to the various societies in the university who supported me and helped me either physically or mentally. Before I received a wheelchair, which was given to me by a monk after my A/Levels, it was my mother who used to carry me to the class. From the time I attended Montessori, I was carried to school in her arms. She is my true pillar of strength. The University Vice Chancellor, staff, lecturers, the management and friends helped me immensely. The University staff and administration never discriminated me because of my disability; on the contrary, they were extremely supportive and wanted me to perform to my full potential.
He said, “My dream at the moment is to get a job at ‘Bank of Ceylon’. If I would get an opportunity to work there, I would be extremely happy. I still want to learn and will never stop learning. But I need to look at the practical side as well. I need this job, because my family cannot survive with my father’s meagre salary alone. I need to contribute to my family. If someone would help me fulfil my dream, I would greatly appreciate it.”
Addressing all disabled people who face arduous difficulties grappling through their disability and sometimes through poverty he said, “Never lose hope. Work aim high. The higher the goal, the higher the success. I worked positively and never really thought I was disabled.”
He has taught us that only when our heart and mind are disabled that we’re truly disabled and that if we believe in ourselves and our potential, and if we never think of barriers and our shortcomings so pessimistically, the true glory and success will envelop us.
If you want to contact Kasun Chamara to provide any form of help,
please call 071-7480020.