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Mon Jan 23, 2012, 02:05 PM

India's women given low-cost route to sanitary protection

The road to creating the world's first low-cost machine for making sanitary towels begins with a man who wore a sanitary towel himself. In 1998, Arunachalam Muruganantham was a workshop helper who lived below the poverty line in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. His research into sanitary towels began when he caught his wife, Shanti, trying to slip away with some filthy rags. When questioned, she said the choice was between buying towels for herself or buying milk for the family.

Her situation isn't unique: 88% of women in India resort to using ashes, newspapers, dried leaves and even husk sand during their periods, according to a report by market research group AC Nielsen called Sanitatary Protection: Every Woman's Health Right. As a result of these unhygienic practices, more than 70% of the women suffer from reproductive tract infections, increasing the risk of contracting associated cancers.

Faced with a challenge, Muruganantham decided to create a low-cost towel for his wife. His entrepreneurial spirit emerged quite early when his father, a handloom weaver, died and Muruganantham had to drop out of high school at 14. His mother earned a tiny amount as a farm worker. To supplement these wages, he began looking for low-cost business opportunities that addressed a need.

More... http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/jan/22/sanitary-towels-india-cheap-manufacture

Being from the developed world where I could always provide for my needs, I have often wondered what women did before the industrial revolution and by extension, what my less well off sisters do. Now I know. This man is a genuine bright light in his community. I hope his invention is replicated in all areas that need it.

This is entrepreneurship I can believe in.

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Reply India's women given low-cost route to sanitary protection (Original post)
supernova Jan 2012 OP
ornotna Jan 2012 #1

Response to supernova (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 10:24 PM

1. Now that was a good read.

Thanks for posting this story.

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