Woman Buys Sanitary Pads For Unaccompanied 12YO Looking Lost Outside A Mini-Mart

The girl's family received help from many people, but they are all in the form of household items — not cash.

Cover image via Men In Menstruation & Community Rights

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A Malaysian woman has come to a 12-year-old girl's aid after she noticed her standing nervously outside a mini-market in Perak.

It turned out that the young girl needed sanitary pads, which she didn't have money for.

In a Twitter thread, netizen @thaarshny — who wishes to be known as Thaarshini — said she was at a 99 Speedmart outlet in Ipoh to get some items and noticed a young girl standing outside.

When she was done with her purchase, she saw the girl was still there.

Speaking to SAYS, Thaarshini said the girl looked worried and was constantly looking around.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Google Images

"So I literally went up to the girl and asked her, 'Are you doing good?' [because] she seemed completely lost," she said.

"Then she responded by saying she was having a period and couldn't afford to buy a sanitary pad because she didn't have [enough] money."

Upon hearing that, Thaarshini rushed back into the mini-market to buy the item for her.

After giving it to the girl, Thaarshini learnt that the girl lives behind the shoplot and that her mother is at a quarantine centre. The girl only has her grandmother taking care of her and her siblings.

"I'm not sure, but it broke my heart when I saw the girl cry after I bought the sanitary pad," she said.

"She claimed she was in terrible pain and couldn't afford to buy it since her grandmother couldn't afford it. It's completely heartbreaking. She is just 12 (years old)."

Thaarshini said that she wanted to fetch the girl back to her house and see if her family needed any help, but the girl was hesitant to get into her car

Thus, Thaarshini told SAYS that she decided to walk the girl home, which was just a three- to four-minute walk away.

In a reply to netizens' query, the good Samaritan said that many people had helped the girl's family, but only in the form of household items.

"They are cash-strapped," she said.

Thaarshini told her father about the girl. Following that, her father and his friends banded together to provide the girl's family with a sum of money every month.

In an update yesterday, she assured netizens that the girl is doing well.

At the time of writing, Thaarshini's tweet has gone viral with over 11,000 likes and 7,000 retweets

Many netizens thanked Thaarshini for going above and beyond to help the little girl.

Meanwhile, in light of the girl's predicament, some netizens raised awareness about period poverty, an issue where young girls and women have a lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints.

"Period poverty is real and there are some people out there denying it. Haih. Thank you for being a kind soul," said a netizen.

A Twitter user echoed the same, adding that some girls in Sabah have to skip school for a week every month because of menstruation.

The person said the girls have to resort to using coir — also known as coconut fibre — stuffed into a sock as a makeshift sanitary pad.

Image via Twitter

Read Thaarshini's full Twitter thread here:

In June, the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) and the Islamiah Da'wah Foundation of Malaysia (YADIM) set up an initiative to curb period poverty in Malaysia:

If you need help or know someone who needs help, here are some channels that provide food and other types of aid:

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