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Creator of revolutionary prosthetic leg wins The Ray

26 August, 2015 09:47 AM Source: Financial Times - Sri Lanka  

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Aruna Samarawickrama, an inventor from Matara, won the prestigious Ray award presented by the Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust (RWCT) on Monday for his invention of a lightweight and manoeuvrable prosthetic leg.
Samarawickrama was among four candidates nominated for the award and was presented with the coveted trophy along with a Rs. 1 million grant from Commercial Bank at a ceremony held in Colombo.

He is also the Founder of Aawas International Ltd., a facility set up in Kalutara dedicated to custom designing prosthetic limbs and rehabilitating and training amputees, injured soldiers and injured animals.
Speaking to the audience after his win, he stated that he was a man from extremely humble beginnings and never had big dreams coming out of his village in Matara.
“All this began with my intention to help a friend who had lost his leg fighting the war. This is the 40th award I have won for this creation. I’m truly humbled,” a tearful Samarawickrama stated.
He added that he never believed that he would gain such recognition for his creation and reiterated that his main aim after helping his friend had been to help the people of the country.
“I promise to come up with new ideas and inventions to help this country in other ways as well. With your strength and encouragement I know I can go on to do great things,” he said.
Samarawickrama has won a host of international and national awards for his creation, including the Presidential Award in 2005 for the Best New Invention as well as the Silver Medal in the science sector at the 35th New Inventors competition in Geneva in 2007.
The RWCT was set up in 2011 in honour of the late Dr. Ray Wijewardene who was a pioneering Sri Lankan inventor and entrepreneur. The trust was founded to continue the vision and ideas of Dr. Wijewardene and is committed to helping Sri Lankan inventors and innovators.
The Ray award is presented to one of four shortlisted Presidential Award-winning inventors by the RWCT in collaboration with Commercial Bank that provides a financial grant for the purpose of commercialising the winning invention.
Speaking at the event, RWCT Chairman Prof. Malik Ranasinghe stated that the ultimate goal of the award as well as the trust was to identify the next Ray Wijewardene. He also commended the shortlisted nominees for their commitment and dedication to their ideas.
The other nominees including Prof. K.K.Y. Perera, who invented the automatic electronic time and speed controller for ceiling fans, Wing Commander Chandima Alwis, who invented the cold air retainer door screening system and Dinesh Katugampala, the inventor of the radius meter.
The judging panel was chaired by former Chairman of the Inventors Commission, Deepal Sooriyarachchi. The others on the panel included Nirmali Wickremasinghe, Dr. Tissaweera Sriyan Jinasena, Shehara de Silva and Prof. Rahula Anura Attalage.

- See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/462557/Creator-of-revolutionary-prosthetic-leg-wins-The-Ray#sthash.aKxqE6Q9.dpuf