The Foundation of Goodness is a holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the urban-rural divide in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide, and reached over 307,000+ beneficiaries in 2022 alone by way of 15 Empowerment Centres, free of cost.
Selvathashan is creative, resourceful and entrepreneurial. The coordinator of our FoG Oddusuddan VHE Centre in Mullaitivu, Selvathashan witnessed many sight impaired individuals in his area struggling to get about their day. Mobility was a major issue in an environment that did not make allowances for the differently-abled.
Not one to sit around and wait for others to right a wrong, Selvathashan decided to find a solution that would give his sight impaired neighbours better accessibility. He hit upon the idea of the ‘Free Bat’. Six months of hard work paid off as he invented an electronic walking-aid device that would help people with sight impairments to navigate with ease and purpose.
Selvathashan’s walking aid stands out from others available in the market due to a number of improvements he made to the traditional device. The ‘Free Bat’ is solar powered, making it cost effective and enabling the owner to use it on long distance travels. It also comes with a GPS location monitor that is especially useful for parents with children who are sight impaired, as it enabled care-givers to monitor movement on their mobile phones.
Having submitted his invention to the 4th International Invention Innovation Competition in Canada (iCan 2019), Selvathashan was awarded the Silver Medal. The prestigious competition was organized by the Toronto International Society of Innovation and Advanced Skills (TISAS).
Selvathashan was presented with the Silver Medal Award and Certificate from the Commissioner of the Sri Lankan Inventors Commission at their Colombo Head Office.
‘I’m very happy about this invention bringing home the Silver Medal for my country. In Sri Lanka I’m the only Sri Lankan Tamil inventor to be selected for ‘iCan 2019 International Innovation Award’ in Toronto, Canada. My special thank you goes out to FoG Founder Mr. Kushil Gunasekera, Dr. J. Jeyanthiran, Dr. N. Nagendran and Foundation of Goodness family for the help and support on this invention.’ said Selvathashan speaking on his wonderful achievement.
The FoG family is very proud of Selvathashan for his invention and the ingenuity he showcases every day, leading the Oddusuddan Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre through designing innovative, pertinent course material and empowerment activities for the 504 beneficiaries under his care.