Turning menstruation from a taboo to a social enterprise

Traditionally, Indian women have used a simple, cotton cloth during their menstruation. This cloth is supposed to be washed and dried in the sun. Even the slightest bit of mistake in maintaining the proper hygiene conditions can lead to several infections. Even today, rural women use this age-old sanitation method as they can’t afford the more modern products.

Maya Vishewakarma is one of the many women who has suffered because of this not-so-sanitary hygiene products. Women using the cloth also acquire either urinary tract infections (UTI)s, reproductive diseases or fungal infections. Some of them even develop the risk of cervical cancer because of these products.

Now a grown woman, Maya decided to do something that will encourage rural women to use proper sanitary products. She realized that the biggest hindrance was the high price of sanitary napkins. Therefore, she has come up with a simple, yet effective, plan.

She wishes to start a sanitary pad manufacturing unit in the village itself. The technical expertise and assistance for the project comes from another social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham.

The proposed unit will make the products available in the village, and at a very affordable price. The makers will also ensure the end product is biodegradable. “Moreover, this initiative will provide employment to the women of the village as well. I only hope that none of the girls from the next generation use any unsanitary hygiene products during menstruation,” says Maya.

You can support the project by donating for the cost of equipment for the unit. A small act of generosity can make menstruation a lot less  troublesome for girls in Narsingpur, Madhya Pradesh. Maya has set up a fundraiser to bear the cost of the project. In case you need any additional information, or have some questions, you can reach out to Maya or the Crowdera crew.