Sri Lanka – Charitable efforts to alleviate the difficulties of obtaining sanitary products

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Location: Narahenpita – Sri Lanka

Language: English +Sinhala

Voice: Natural

Duration: 00:05:11

Source: A24

Restrictions: A24 Clients

Dateline: 12-01-2022

Storyline:

The lack of women’s sanitary products sparks controversy in Sri Lanka, due to its high prices. The “Free to Flow” project aims to distribute reusable sanitary napkins to females aged between 15 and 40 in low-income families across the country at affordable prices of around Rs.280 per set and used for a year and a half. The reusable napkins are up to the required standards and ensure women’s health and safety.  Most commercial pads right now are very expensive and treated as a luxury import, which means women pay a tax of 53% on each pack of pads as the prices of these pads range from Rs. 500 to Rs. 900, and since a pad has to be changed every four hours for risk of infection, one woman uses between two and three packs per menstrual cycle, which translates to a significant expense, especially for the daily workers and houses with more than one woman.

Shots list:

– (SOUNDBITE) Malsha kumaranatunge – Founder of the free to flow:

“I founded this charity. I saw a lag in the health sector even though Sri Lanka has come forward in many ways. I feel like, fair health care stops for women. so we started this foundation this charity to give reusable sanitary napkins free of charge to women.”

– (SOUNDBITE) Malsha Kumaranatunge – Founder of the free to flow:

“It’s eco-friendly and long-lasting. we see people interested in being eco-friendly these days. this helps not fill up garbage dumps everywhere. and it’s long-lasting so that’s the main thing we are going for. This is the pad packet. we have two sets inside. comes with the instruction sheet. the pad that is to be clipped’ onto the underwear. we give a set of two. so women can exchange and wear it. for the four days.”

–  (SOUNDBITE) Gayathree Mohan – Lawyer:

“We can give these reusable sanitary napkins free of charge to women. for economically disadvantaged communities. we are recognized menstrual hygiene as being a fundamental right of every woman. every woman needs to have access to menstrual hygiene. so if you take our pads “the reusable free to flow pads” that we are distributing. it’s cost 280 rupees to produce a pad. and this can be reused for a period of one and half years.”

–  (SOUNDBITE) S V Pushpakumari- Housewife:

“The price of sanitary napkins has gone up. Women have been inconvenienced by these high prices. We think this would be a good solution.”

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