Tuesday, 18 January, 2022

ELLA Pad kicks off ‘Pad Bank’ for underprivileged school girls

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 8th December, 2021 09:56:11 PM
  • Print news
ELLA Pad kicks off  ‘Pad Bank’ for underprivileged school girls

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Eco-friendly Low-cost Liquid Absorbent (ELLA) Pad opened a ‘Pad Bank’ at Kanchipara Nazrul Huq Girls school at Fulchari in Gaibandha on Tuesday with an aim to address the acute menstrual hygiene problems of underprivileged girls of the char area. 

Abul Kalam Azad, Head of the Programme of ICCO Part of Cordaid, and head of European Union Bangladesh supported SONGO project, kicked off the event as the chief guest.

At the opening ceremony,  Abul Kalam informed the audience about the pad bank objective and how it’s ensuring safe menstrual hygiene management of all students irrespective of their financial status. Mr Kalam mentioned ELLA Pad is beyond the mere sanitary pad.

It’s a total solution to hygiene-related problems. Kalam, also head of SONGO project, narrated how ELLA Pad will eradicate the period poverty and improve the nutritional status at the project area of Gaibandha and Kurigarm.

Nutrition specialist and head of Sustained Opportunities for Nutrition Governance (SONGO) project Kalam also explained the menstruation and nutrition nexus. Over 35% of adolescent girls are suffering from malnourishment not having adequate food and nutritious items during the period.

ELLA Pad bank will develop a social movement against the period-related vicious cycle. In addition to ensuring the supply of adequate reusable sanitary pads round the year, the students’ leader of the institute will create demand for safe menstrual hygiene practices.  

The capacity of students will be developed to break the social taboo. As a special guest of the inaugural event Mahe Alam, Enterprise Promotion and Private Sector Engagement Manager of ICCO Cooperation (Part of Cordaid), appreciated the reusable sanitary pad initiative of ELLA Pad to ensure access to the sanitary pads to the period.

Interested students may volunteer to support the ELLA pad producers at the local level. ELLA Pad bank is not a traditional pop-up shop.

Mahe Alam mentioned it was a total solution to period-related problems of underprivileged girls. Students of this institute will come up as an icon for others. They are now examples for the rest of the country of how to work as green ambassadors.

Alam also mentioned that the local level small women producers will ensure a regular supply of the sanitary pads at the said ‘pad bank’. Participating in the discussion, Akter Jahan, Headmaster of Kanchipara Najrul Huq Ideal Girls Schol, mentioned ELLA Pad bank will address the problem of their girls’ drop-out, who were not getting access to sanitary pads. 

Mostafa Islam Reza, Operation Head of SONGO project presided over the meeting while Khademul Islam, president of the school management committee and Shamim Alom also spoke at the event. The pad bank management committee among with a group of students representatives from different classes also present at the opening event. After the event, the chief guest and special guest distributed the ELLA Pads among the students.