Some people may have overlooked this issue, but many in the poor and homeless communities barely have any essential items especially during the Movement Control Order (MCO), including sanitary pads.
Photo: Facebook Vimala Kanagaratnam
While many families needed food and household essentials during this difficult time, Vimala Kanagaratnam kickstarted an initiative to deliver sanitary pads to women and girls in need during the MCO, as she believes it’s easy to forget the needs of women who have their monthly periods.
Vimala previously distributed baby formula and groceries to underprivileged families living in Public Housing Project (PPR) flats when she received a cry for help from a father who could not afford to buy sanitary pads for his daughters.
“I know some families are struggling during the MCO and some of them now have zero income after losing their jobs. I received a text message in Malay one night from a father who said his daughter was menstruating, but they didn’t have any money to buy sanitary pads.”
“It really broke my heart when I read that message. It’s already so difficult for these families to put food on the table, what more to buy sanitary pads,” Vimala told the Malay Mail.
Being a mother herself, Vimala understood the worries and anxieties faced by women who could not afford to buy essential feminine hygiene products when they are in need of them.
Within 24 hours, she managed to gather seven boxes of pads sponsored by her friends and hopes to get many more, so she could expand the scope of her donations.
As for the time being, Vimala does not accept cash donations and would prefer for good Samaritans to order the sanitary pads online and have them delivered to her address so she could distribute them. Even if they do have the means to deliver the items to her, Vamila said Malaysians could still help within their own capacities.
“You don’t have to send the pads to me, you can even just buy pads for your next-door neighbour if you know they can’t afford to buy them right now.”
She is currently helping families living in PPR flats in Kelana Jaya and is hoping to help those in need in Desa Mentari once more donations come in.
If you are interested in joining Vimala’s initiative, message her on Facebook or contact her via WhatsApp at 016-9088939.
By: Siti Farhana Sheikh Yahya