The Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan in partnership with S-Lon, PickMe and Keells Supermarkets have launched a ‘handwashing unit for three-wheelers’ intending to help ‘Stop the Spread’ during the global Covid-19 pandemic.
The initial stage of the partnership will see 500 three-wheelers (Tuk Tuks) that are registered with PickMe in the Colombo District fitted with the ‘hand wash unit’. The project was initiated by the Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan (RCCM) in line with the District 3220’s objective of stopping the spread of Covid-19.
Tuk Tuks are a convenient and flexible method of mass transportation. There are approximately 1.2 million registered Tuk Tuk’s in Sri Lanka, and a single vehicle could have at least 30 hires a day. Tuk Tuks are therefore very popular largely due to their accessibility, convenience and lower hiring cost and while they offer an invaluable service to the public.
The introduction of the handwashing unit in Tuk-Tuks aims to negate some of this by promoting hand hygiene in public areas and also more generally even in homes wherein handwashing with soap remains one of our best defences against the virus, along with other public health measures such as maintaining physical distance, avoiding crowded places, practicing cough etiquette and wearing a mask wherever recommended.
Ruwan Gunasena, President, Rotary Club of Colombo Metropolitan said, “This project that was initiated by one of our members after seeing a similar product go viral in India in June 2020. The handwashing unit was aptly titled a ‘Coronainvention’. We at RCCM decided to redesign and re-engineer the unit to comply with our motor regulations in Sri Lanka and were thrilled when S-Lon, PickMe and Keells Supermarket saw this product as an opportunity for the greater good of our community”.
The Tuk Tuk hand washing unit aims to promote hand hygiene in public spaces to drive one of the main defences prescribed for reducing COVID-19 infection rates and also as a wider means to raising public mass awareness of the need for responsible care and civic responsibility in driving down the spread of the virus, he added.
Chamara Lokupothagamage, General Manager Marketing from S-Lon Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, speaking at the launch added, “When we were initially approached by the RCCM we saw it as a great opportunity to give back to our community. Our partnership with the RCCM sees us fabricate and manufacture the main cylinder used to carry the water and soap dispenser that would be attached to the Tuk Tuk using S-Lon uPVC pipes and fittings. We have managed to give this unit to the RCCM at a highly subsidized price and we hope from this project to create awareness amongst the public that the pandemic is still among us and it is far from over. We must remind ourselves of the basics that we as individuals can do to keep ourselves and our community safe”.
PickMe comes into the partnership with its reach and logistical potential. Isira Perera, Chief Operations Officer, PickMe said, “Since the pandemic began early 2020, PickMe has been able to ensure safer travel for all our customers and riders with our execution on the ground from educational programs to our Driver Partners, temperature checks and visibility on the App, Separator Screens in the vehicle fleet and various sanitization protocols followed by the fleet. The partnership with RCCM is an extension of our ongoing projects of ensuring safer travel for our stakeholders and we look forward to enabling Sri Lanka to move safer.”
CBSL and IFC launch National Financial Inclusion Strategy
Sri Lanka’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) aunched recently, aims to make financial services more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all households and businesses in the country.
The NFIS is a joint effort led by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka—with technical and financial assistance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group—under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program. The development of this strategy was a multi-stakeholder effort supported by the government of Sri Lanka.
“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy symbolizes our country’s commitment towards a better and inclusive Sri Lanka that will benefit all individuals and enterprises. I believe this strategy will complement the Government’s efforts to minimize the provincial income disparities, urban-rural inequalities, and to promote inclusive growth,” said Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
“More importantly, this strategy prioritizes future generations, having identified financial literacy as a key pillar. The proposal to strengthen the national curriculum in this area is a positive step. Investing in the education of our younger generation is the most significant investment we can make as a nation, as this will be a particularly helpful approach to the systematic correction of the financial habits of Sri Lankans,” the Prime Minister said.
HNB – Havelock City partnership offers exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility
HNB PLC has partnered with Havelock City mixed-use development project to offer prospective homeowners of state-ofthe-art luxury apartments in Stratford and Melford Towers (Phase 3 – COC certified) and Peterson and Edmonton Towers (Phase 4) with the exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility.
The partnership is set to offer customers the unprecedented opportunity to make a payment of only 20% and immediately occupy the limited units available in Phase 3 of the project or invest in apartments available in Phase 4, scheduled to be completed by May 2021. Further, Havelock City will take on the customer’s interest payment for one year.
“We have witnessed an increase in the demand for apartments and are aware that there is a limited stock of units available in the heart of Colombo. Therefore, we hope that this partnership with Havelock City will offer our customers looking to invest in a home of their own the facility to either move into an apartment immediately or invest in a home of their dreams,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services, Kanchana Karunagama said.
Prospective homeowners can make use the bank’s flexible repayment options, such as the Step-up facility, which offers a repayment option in line with the customers evolving income. Customers can also obtain a maximum repayment period of 25 years for the loan facility for an attractive interest rate starting from just 7%.
DPL lends a hand to children in Monaragala Rubber Farming Communities
As part of its ongoing efforts to empower and uplift the livelihood of its farmer co-operative societies, Dipped Products PLC (DPL) distributed school bags to the children of 1,500 smallholder rubber farmers for the 10th consecutive year, under its flagship Firstlight CSR project.
This year’s distribution recorded the largest donation of school bags, which was nearly a two-fold increase from the previous year, bringing the total value of the distribution up to nearly Rs. 1 million.
Taking place at the Pinwatta Bodimalu Viharaya in Medagama, Monaragala, this latest distribution marks the Company’s continued efforts to support the smallholder rubber farming communities, by ensuring that their essential needs are looked after.
“Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, with the nation facing significant challenges and hardships, it is truly touching to see the positive impact which we continue to have on the underprivileged smallholder rubber farming communities. We believe that programmes like Firstlight hold the key to enhancing the livelihoods of our 1500-strong rubber farmers, providing them with an improved quality of life, whilst paving the way to open up new opportunities and a brighter future. This is why, with the enthusiastic response we have received over the years, we have now also expanded this school bag distribution to include the District of Kegalle,” Dipped Products Deputy Managing Director, Pushpika Janadheera said.
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