Date: 2018-02-11 22:53:01
Today he is known as a social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu. But how did he get this idea that women in rural areas needed sanitary napkins back in 2000, one day he saw his wife steal a cloth so dirty he wouldn't even consider using it to wash his scooter. Upon asking, he realized she used it when she was menstruating. He began wondering if all women went through the same thing? Did all the women in the village have to resolve to dirty pieces of cloth?
First, he tried making a pad by wrapping cotton in a cloth and handed it to his wife to experiment. It did not work and she decided to stick to cloth alone. He also found it hard to wait an entire month for every trial and needed more women to help him experiment. Next, he went to a medical college and asked girls there to try the pads he made and give him feedback. He thought they would be honest and not shy away as they were future doctors themselves. But when he went to collect the forms he saw that out of the entire group, two girls were filling out the forms for everyone. Finally, he tried it himself.
He went back to the medical college and asked the girls to store their used napkins aside and hand them to him. When he received them, he laid them out in his backyard and inspected them. Upon inspection, he saw that the companies producing sanitary napkins used cellulose, not cotton. He imported a cellulose sample from the U.S. by this time, his mother had left him after she saw the backyard scene and went to stay with his sisters crying her eyes out and believing that someone had done something to her son. He had lost his mind.
When he received the sheet, he tore it and saw that it was made of fibers. Now all he needed was a machine. The plant companies used was too expensive and he had to come up with something better.
Of course not only women but he has helped society by breaking stereotypes and the belief that discussing menstruation and periods is taboo. Thank you, Arunachalam Muruganantham.
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