Jayathilaka is crippled. He crawled on all fours till he was 10 years old and then someone donated a wheel chair. That's when he first started schooling in 1986. No school wanted a cripple crawling on all fours. 'Why educate him? He is a cripple' that is what Dingiriamma heard when she tried to enroll Jayathilaka in a village school.
The so named 'cripple' strode ahead to get the first place in the O/L exam in his educational zone of Galewala (Galewela), and raced further to secure the first place again in the Matale district for the A/L exam.
With Rs. 1000 (10 us dollars) in hand Jayathilaka came to the Moratuwa University to read a Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1998. He passed out as top student in his field with a Super First Class Honours Degree. He has now received a full scholarship to read a PhD at the National University of Singapore in January 2006 which is a leading university in Asia.
How does a crippled boy in crutches from an obscure village walk into Moratuwa University with one thousand rupees and walk away as the top student? Why does he then join AFLAC, the organisation that helped him and become an AFLAC coordinator for another poor student in the
university who has no arms? Why does Jayathilaka then go from village to village with AFLAC and give speeches to little children inspiring them to struggle and study and example them with his 'nothing' to 'everything' story.