Malaysian woman kickstarts initiative to donate sanitary pads to poor women and girls during MCO

Vimala Kanagaratnam was driven to help after receiving a heartbreaking text message from a father who couldn’t afford to buy pads for his daughters. — Pictures courtesy of Vimala Kanagaratnam
Vimala Kanagaratnam was driven to help after receiving a heartbreaking text message from a father who couldn’t afford to buy pads for his daughters. — Pictures courtesy of Vimala Kanagaratnam

PETALING JAYA, April 23 — A Malaysian woman is spearheading an initiative to deliver sanitary pads to women and girls in need during the movement control order (MCO).

Vimala Kanagaratnam said that while many families needed food and household essentials during the MCO, it was easy to forget the needs of women who have their monthly periods.

The social marketer was previously working on distributing baby formula and groceries to underprivileged families living in public housing project (PPR) flats when she received a plea for help from a father who could not afford to buy 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 Malay Mail.

As a mother with a teenage daughter, Vimala said she understood the worries and anxieties faced by women who could not afford to buy essential feminine hygiene products in these difficult times.

Within 24 hours, she managed to gather seven boxes of pads sponsored by her friends and she hoped to get more people on board to expand the scope of her donations.

Vimala emphasised that she does not accept cash donations and has asked Good Samaritans to order the sanitary pads online and have them delivered to her address so she could distribute them.

She also noted that Malaysians could still help even if they did not have the means to join her initiative.

“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 hopes to lend a helping hand to those in Desa Mentari as well 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.


 

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