The Centre For Handicapped was first set up in 1971 and was known as “Kandy Orthopedic Workshop”. It was supported by the National Institute of Handicapped Research (NIHR)–a U.S. based organisation – and the Ministry of Health of Sri Lanka. Once the support of the NIHR ended the production of limbs and orthopedic devices began to decline. In an effort to safeguard the Centre and its work in the Hill Country, the Colombo Friend In Need Society stepped in to provide support but financial instability forced several changes of location and prevented the Centre from reaching its full potential.
In 1992, thanks largely to the efforts of two leading figures in Kandy –Canon Ratnayake and Mr. T. R. R. Rajan – the Centre was revived and found a new, permanent home at No 228, Digana Road, Kundasale. It was built on state land provided on a long lease by the then President of Sri Lanka the Hon. R. Premadasa. Support in building and equipping the Centre came from the Norwegian Development Agency (NORAD) and the Rotary Club of Kandy together with the International Rotary Movement, Rotary Clubs in Sweden and USAID. The Centre was opened by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Hon. D. B. Wijetunge on the 26th of September 1992. In 2001 the Centre ceded from the Colombo Friend In Need Society and started to operate independently.