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About Chitra Lane
About Chitra Lane
About the Founder

To this day, the founder of our organization, Mrs. Delysia Gunewardene devotes her time, a wealth of knowledge, and experience to care for the many children that walk in through our doors.  Aunty Delysia as she is fondly referred to by all continues to guide and inspire the Chitra Lane family.

our Journey Chitra lane

Our inspiring journey through more than 50  years of nurturing children with special needs in Sri Lanka, began with a single step in 1967 when three caring volunteers took into their hearts to nurture two children with Special Needs.  In the 1960s, when the rest of the world was forging ahead with programs and research regarding individuals with intellectual impairment, there was very little hope for a family with a special child in Sri Lanka. This is when the Chitra Lane School for the Special Child first opened in a single room, down Laurie’s road in Colombo 4.  In February 1973 the School moved to slightly larger premises on Bagatelle Road and then again in 1977 to its current location at 45/3 Chitra Lane in Colombo 5.

The Chitra Lane School created a haven where children and young adults with special needs were allowed to develop at their own pace and encouraged to reach their fullest potential.  Any child, regardless of his or her ethnic, religious, or socio-economic background was welcomed at our school.  By 1988, the student body had expanded to 250 and the Chitra Lane School for the Special Child had reached its maximum capacity.

With families continuing to arrive at our doorstep seeking our help, it was decided to expand our services and create a Resource Center that would conduct home-based programs and provide facilities to meet every aspect of the child including their physical, psychological, and educational development as well as addressing their medical needs.  Years of experience had taught us that detecting difficulties and developmental delays early on in a child’s life and providing the necessary help during early childhood, made a significant difference in minimizing the adverse effects of these difficulties.

With this goal of `early detection and early intervention’ in mind, in 1989 the Chitra Lane Children’s Resource Centre was established adjacent to the Chitra Lane School.  Today, this Resource Centre is well recognized as a center of excellence to which schools, hospitals, and doctors from across Sri Lanka refer children for evaluations and follow-up therapy.  Families come to us from in and around Colombo as well as from the southern province, the central hills, and the North and the East of Sri Lanka.

Every child that walks in through our doors is seen by one of our experienced consultants and provided with screening and an intervention program that is carried out by a team of professionals including educational and medical specialists, a psychologist, speech therapists,  physiotherapists, and several remedial teachers. Parents are empowered with the necessary skills and knowledge to care for their special child at home.

The Children’s Resource Centre provides a comprehensive range of services all under one roof including educational skills evaluations; individualized remedial education; speech and language development; physiotherapy and hydrotherapy; medical clinics; parent counseling and training; vocational and life skills development for young adults with special needs. The Chitra Lane Children’s Resource Centre also collaborates with Universities, NGOs, schools, and other professionals in similar fields in conducting staff training and awareness programs.

Ours has been a challenging journey over the years. One, which could not have been undertaken without the kind support of many who have helped us in so many ways. Join hands with us as we continue on our journey of creating a better tomorrow for the children of Sri Lanka.

Chitra Lane Welfare Society is a charitable organization, incorporated by an Act of Parliament

Our Goals


Early Detection and Intervention of Developmental delays and Disabilities in Children


Providing Young Adults with Special Needs the necessary Life Skills and Creating Opportunities for income Generation and Employment, in order for them to lead Productive and Independent Lives


Empowering Parents and Caregivers to care for their special child at home and educating the personnel / professionals in the field of Special Needs as well as the General Public


Creating better facilities and services in Sri Lanka for children with special needs


Exchanging and sharing knowledge and experiences with other organizations within Sri Lanka and Internationally.

Our Progress In Numbers
lives of children and young adults with special needs are
touched by the Chitra Lane organization annually from across Sri Lanka and beyond
85 %
of children are from low-income families that rely on
Chitra Lane for the well-being of their children
staff members
specialisation areas in the Resource Centre
Our Team
The Chitra Lane program is implemented on a daily basis by a team of over 90 dedicated and highly skilled teachers and administrative staff.  Several volunteers also contribute their time and effort to make our programme a success.

Delysia Gunewardene


Behavioural Therapist & Special Education Consultant

Otara Gunewardene

Vice President

Dr. Manel Goonasekera

Chief Executive Officer

B.Sc, M.Sc, Ph.D (Sri Lanka)

Champika Mahapatuna

Principal - Chitra Lane School for the Special Child

Dip. Special Ed. (Sri Lanka)

Nirosha Perera

Manager – Chitra Lane Children’s Resource Centre

PgD Education Management, OTHM Level 7 (UK), CIMA (UK)

Nilmini Kuruppu

Head of Finance


Nishalie Fernandopulle

Consultant Psychologist

Msc (UK), BA (Hons), LTCL, ATCL - Clinical Psychologist

Dr. H. T. Wickramasinghe

Consultant Paediatrician

MBBS, MD, DCH (Sri Lanka), MRCPCH (UK)

Dr. M. Fernandopulle

Consultant Paediatrician

MBBS (Sri Lanka), DCH, MRCP

Indira Athurupana

Speech & Language Therapist

B. Sc (Kelaniya), Dip. Special Ed.

P.P. Uthpala Savithri

Speech & Language Therapist

B. Sc. Speech & Hearing Science

Sumith Edirisinghe

Physiotherapist / Hydro therapist

School of Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy (Sri Lanka)

D. Kumarasinghe

Physiotherapist / Hydro therapist

School of Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy (Sri Lanka)

Dr. M. P. Rodrigo

Dental Surgeon

LDS (Cey), DGDP, DCGDP (Sri Lanka)

Dr. D. L. Drahman

Dental Surgeon

DHDP, DDF (Sri Lanka)

S. B. Cooke


B.Sc (Hons) (UK)

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