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DateLine Sunday, 11 May 2008





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Lindbergh Foundation Grants for 2008

The Lindbergh Foundation based in USA has announced that its grants scheme for this year is now on. Since the programme started in 1978, 242 researchers have received over $ 2.25 million in funding for their important work. There is one Sri Lankan among them; he is Vidyajyothi Dr. Wijaya Godakumbura who received a grant for his ‘Safe Bottle Lamp Project’ in 2003.

The grant scheme was established to honour Charles and Ann Morrow Lindbergh who set a transcontinental speed record in their new Lockheed Sirius in April 1930. The flight from Los Angeles to New York took 14 hours and 32 minute, beating the previous record by three hours.

Over the years, Lindbergh Grants have become increasingly well known, supporting innovative ideas often at an early stage in their development and establishing pilot projects that subsequently receive significant additional funding from other sources.

The ‘Safe Bottle Lamp Project’

The grant programme also enjoys excellent reputation among the scientific community and the public sector for supporting exceptional high quality projects and dedicated researchers.

When Dr. Godakumbura received one of the seven grants in 2003, four were won by four Universities in America and one by the Russian Academy of sciences. The projects are being supported up to a maximum of $ 10,580 each, the cost of building Lindbergh plane in 1927.

They are chosen for their potential to make a significant contribution to Lindbergh shared vision of ‘balance between the technological advances and preservation of the environment’.

The respect for the Lindbergh Grants program has grown over the years due to the thorough review process each application receives.

The application must pass a staff review for completeness and appropriateness, and a “balance” review prior to being submitted for technical review.

Projects that are most often selected for funding by the Lindbergh Foundation Board of Directors have applications with concise and clearly stated objectives and procedures, and include language that even the non-scientist or the non-medical person can easily understand.

Projects are entertained under several categories that include agriculture, arts, aviation, conservation of natural resources, intercultural communication, biomedical research, adoptive technology, health and waste management.

The ‘Safe Bottle Lamp Project’, for which Dr Godakumbura received the grant is aimed at preventing the dreadful kerosene burns that are caused by the tipping of makeshift unsafe bottle lamps used in many of the 1.3 million homes that have no electricity.

These injuries cause, inter alia, pain lasting weeks or months, severe scarring and sometimes death. There could be gross disfigurement of the face, neck or other areas, some times with blindness and destruction of all the fingers. When that happens to the bread winner who is a farmer, brick layer or a fisherman, the family is doomed.

The health, nutrition and the quality of life of all the family members and the education of the children are seriously affected.Unmarried persons would lose the chance of getting married when the face is badly scarred. Many victims are children. These people become social outcasts, and they are a burden to their families, the society and to the state.

Patients with extensive burns usually die.Dr. Godakumbura believes there may be other Sri Lankans who are capable of winning a Lindbergh Grant.

Those interested could get the details from the Foundation’s web site or from Dr. Godakumbura (Telephone: 2864847, e-mail: [email protected]). The grant application form is available in a browse able and downloadable format in its ‘Grants Program’ section. The closing date is June 12, 2008.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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