Inventor of low cost sanitary pads awarded Padma Shri

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Inventor of low cost sanitary pads awarded Padma Shri

Inventor of low cost sanitary pads awarded Padma Shri

Indian invents cheap sanitary pads, to be available in 70 developing countries

Coimbatore: For Arunachalam Muruganantham, the year 2016 couldn’t have started off any better. It was only a few days ago he got know that he has been adjudged for an award by the Portugal government as Indian Business Leader of the Year.

While congratulatory messages for the recognition still kept pouring in, Muruganantham got information that he has been chosen by the Union government for the Padma Shri Award 2016, for inventing low-cost sanitary napkins.

I am not usually excited by awards. But Padma Shri is an exception,” says Murugantham who had just landed in Coimbatore on Monday evening after a tour of various cities to adress audiences ranging from students to businessmen.

anandi-pads

The award will be an inspiration for youth, especially engineering students. Rather than helping me, the award might inspire another ‘Muruganantham’ to emerge,” he said.

He hopes that youth would start realizing that social activism doesn’t always mean getting on to the streets and serving the poor. “Youth, especially engineering graduates, should realise that social change and improving someone’s life could also be done through invention, using engineering,” Muruganantham tells.

There are lakhs of youth without jobs. They should identify a social cause and be a solution provider by coming up with more machines like the low cost sanitary napkin making machine,” he said.

The Coimbatore-based social entrepreneur, who was listed by TIME magazine as one among the world’s 100 most influential persons in 2014 was born to a poor family of handloom weavers in Coimbatore.

 He lost his father at a young age and had to drop out of school at the age of 14 years. Soon after he got married, he became acquainted with the troubles women face during mensturation. Thus, he began experimenting with sanitary pads to make things easier for his wife.

When women members of his family grew tired of being test subjects, he took on the role of guinea pig. Subsequently, he came up with a machine to make low cost sanitary pads and sold his first napkin making machine in 2004 in Madhubani, Bihar. In the decade since then, he has sold 2500 machines across India and abroad as NGOs and corporates saw the value in promoting the machine for better personal hygiene among women.

I am not inclined to display the Award in my house or call myself Padma Shri,” says Muruganantham signing off with the message that he has a long way to go to ensure that every single woman in the country has easy access to sanitary napkins.

Indian invents cheap sanitary pads, to be available in 70 developing countries

An Indian, who has invented a machine that can be used to make cheap sanitary pads, hopes that the device would be available in 70 developing countries by next year.We will make the machine available in 70 developing countries next year,” said Coimbatore-based Arunachalam Muruganantham.

The machine is getting popular in the developing countries,” Muruganantham, a school dropout said. It is now being used in 17 developing countries including African states, for making sanitary napkins for women.

Muruganantham took seven-and-a-half years to develop the invention, a weaving machine made of wood and sold it at Rs. 1 lakh through his non-government organisation, Jayaashree Industries. “My goal is to get all the women in India, who are still not using hygienic sanitary napkins, to use it,” he said.

All these women are still using old grandmother methods of managing their monthly period, which is dangerous to their health,” said Muruganantham.Some of these women are using saw dust and tree leaves,” said Muruganantham, after addressing the IIMPACT 2014 conference, one of his speaking assignments internationally of teaching women in developing countries of hygienic methods.

In my company we don’t have marketing department,” he told applauding delegates including corporate heads.This is called beyond marketing,” he said referring to his model of promoting the use of the machine and related promotion of the use of the sanitary napkin. He hopes to generate employment for 1 million poor women in India, getting them to make sanitary napkins using the machines.

Contact them at-  92831- 55128
e-mail : muruganantham_in@yahoo.com

Muruganantham was a guest speaker at IIMPACT 2014, an annual conference organised by alumni of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and attended by 1,100 delegates from across the globe.

credit: timesofindia &INKtalks

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