Leading Sri Lankan integrated financial services provider HNB FINANCE PLC, recently conducted a COVID-19 awareness programme to enhance driver and passenger safety in Colombo’s three-wheelers, at the Mirihana Police Station Ground in Nugegoda. The programme saw the donation of high quality passenger safety screens for each of their vehicles, along with medical-grade face masks.
Conducted under strict guidelines set by the regional Medical Officer of Health and Public Health Officers, drivers were comprehensively briefed on the stringent health & safety protocols to be followed while carrying passengers. The awareness programme was attended by over 250 drivers who operate passenger vehicles in Nugegoda and surburbs, and lead by the Regional Medical Office Public Health Inspector, Nugegoda – Madhava Godagedara, HNB FINANCE Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chaminda Prabhath, and the Western Province – Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police, Kapila Katupitiya. Also in attendance was the Mirihana Police Headquarters, Chief Inspector H. R. M. Thushara and his team, along with a group of officials from HNB FINANCE.
“The three wheeler service has always been considered an integral part of the transport system in Sri Lanka. However, due to the high rates of transmission presented by the COVID-19′ virus, they are unfortunately considered a high-risk transportation mode among the public. The workshop we took the initiative to conduct, aims to address these public concerns, under the supervision and guidance of the health authorities and the main Police station in Nugegoda. Together with our contributions, we want to ensure that these passenger vehicles can utilize a combination of critical protective equipment, face masks and the ‘Stay Safe QR Code’ to make travel safe for both passengers and drivers, in a bid to mitigate the spread of COVID-19′ within the country, and moreover to help reduce the financial burden currently experienced by these drivers.” stated HNB FINANCE Head of Marketing, Udara Gunasinghe.
The Ministry of Health – Epidemiology Unit and the COVID-19′ Taskforce in Sri Lanka, recently passed a mandatory ruling that all buses and three wheelers carrying passengers daily must install passenger protection covers in their vehicles. An initiative taken to enforce stringent social distancing among drivers and passengers, the ruling subjects public transportation vehicles violating these terms to a fine of Rs. 25,000.
With numerous lockdowns imposed within the city of Colombo, the income of these daily wage workers have reduced significantly since the start of the pandemic. With the recent donation of passenger protection covers, these drivers have now been able to continue earning an income while reducing the risk of being fined and more over ensuring the safety of themselves as well as their passengers.
This is the first of a series of awareness campaigns conducted by HNB FINANCE’s island-wide branch network. The company was highly praised by participants for the initiative they took in organising this programme as well as for their generous donation of protective equipment.
About HNB FINANCE PLC
HNB FINANCE PLC was established in the year 2000 and is licensed as a registered Finance Company by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. The company holds a National Long-term Rating at ‘A(lka)’; as affirmed by Fitch Ratings. Maintaining an extensive island-wide presence across 60 branches and 10 service Centers, HNB FINANCE offers a range of exceptional financial services which include Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Loans as well as leasing, gold loans, housing loans, personal loans, savings and fixed deposits facilities.