Arunachalam Muruganantham – India’s Menstruation Man
In a country where women talk about periods in a hush-hush tone, a man stepped forward to make sanitary pads for them! Read about India’s Menstruation Man – Arunachalam Muruganantham.
Discussing about menstruation openly is a taboo in India but a man carried out his own research and came up with affordable sanitary pads. It took him a while but what he has invented can change lives of millions of Indian women.
Though sanitary pads are widely available with a lot of features, many women can’t afford them. This is what made India’s Menstruation Man – Arunachalam Muruganantham, take up the task. It all started in 1998 when he found that his wife was using old rags during her periods as she could not afford the sanitary pads available in the market. He wanted to help her, so he made his own pad out of cotton wool and wrapped it in cotton, the way pads are sold in the market. He asked her to test it but his wife feedback was that it was totally useless and it would be better to use old rags.
What went wrong? How were the sanitary pads made by him different from the ones available in the market? Muruganantham started experimenting. People found his research ridiculous and thought that he was not normal. His wife could not handle the ongoing gossip, so she left him and went to live with her parents. This did not stop Muruganantham from working towards his goal. In his research he learned that in India only 10 to 20 percent of the young girls and womenfolk have access to sanitary pads. Now the idea was no longer about helping his wife but to produce sanitary pads at a low-cost for the girls and women in our country.
He happened to invent an easy-to-use machine to make sanitary pads at a low cost. While imported machines cost around US$500,000 his machine is priced at just US$950. His machine can be bought by schools and women’s groups to make their own sanitary pads and sell what is surplus. Muruganantham’s machine has been able to create jobs for women living in villages. He started a revolution by selling 1,300 machines to 27 states. He has also started exporting them to the developing countries of the world!
The good part is that his wife came back to him after 5 years and is proud of him! Today, he is one of the most well known social entrepreneurs of India. In 2014, he was named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people on the planet!
Many corporations offered to buy his machine but he has refused. He prefers selling his machine to women’s self help groups instead.
Way to go! This man is not doing it for profit! Such stories where men are so concerned about the hygiene of their womenfolk are worth spreading. Perhaps after this step most of the girls and women in India will have access to sanitary pads and will have problem-free periods.
Hope this post on India’s Menstruation Man has been inspirational and informative!
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