Knowledge of reproductive health to the grassroots | Sunday Observer
Arka initiative

Knowledge of reproductive health to the grassroots

25 July, 2021

Being in possession of good sexual and reproductive health is considered a lifetime concern for everyone. In that light, a group of young, Sri Lankan professionals comprising medical doctors, psychologists, researchers and lawyers are leading an organisation called ‘The Arka Initiative’, established in November 2018.

The Arka Initiative operates at a grassroots and institutional level. The Arka Initiative, most importantly, has adopted a holistic approach with its work where it has understood that Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) concerns not only the biological and physical considerations, but also the mental, social and psychological aspects of a person's life.


As per its recent press release, The Arka Initiative presents "Adithi" which is a sanitary napkin brand, sold at an affordable price. Moreover, "Adithi" is Arka's latest project which is involved with the manufacturing of low-cost sanitary pads in a village in the Southern province. Arka was the proud recipient of a grant, given by various entities which include The Pad Project, 2009 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Short “Period.

End of Sentence” and this is L., a B. Corp certified period care brand making products free from synthetic pesticides, dyes and fragrance. The press release added declared that Arka purchased a semi-automatic pad machine from Saral designs in Mumbai with the money that they received through the grant.

The pad machine will be set up in Matugama and, under the supervision of Arka, the women in the area will be entrusted with the task of leading its manufacturing and operations.

This project will provide employment for the women in the local community while facilitating the mitigation of period poverty organically and meaningfully. Also the project will contribute towards the combat of stigma, associated with reproductive health. The name "Adithi" itself denotes the meanings of "Freedom and Security".

Inclusive brand

Arka in its genuine and viable endeavour is determined to create an inclusive brand of sanitary products, driven by the women in the communities where period poverty is considerably ubiquitous and stigmas, highly disrupting and devastating. Arka’s reusable sanitary pad project is a synonym for an eco-friendly environment which gives rise to the sustainable development.

As the reusable sanitary pads are made of biodegradable and environmental friendly, their overall waste is considerably less. If they are properly used, they can be more skin friendly; the likelihood of receiving complaints from the users regarding allergic reactions and rashes can be less.

Therefore the most significant element of this project that Arka has launched is that it contributes towards an eco-friendly environment.

Keep up to date with the Adithi by Arka project @adithibyarka and The Arka Initiative @arkainitiative on Instagram and Facebook.