‘Napkin man’ on a mission to empower women


Majority of women in India do not use sanitary napkin because of the high cost of the product, says Arunachalam Muruganantham, an entrepreneur who was named one of the 100 most influential persons by Time magazine last year.

The school dropout who started his life as a welder at Pudur in rural Coimbatore, has revolutionised the sanitary napkin making industry by developing an innovative machine that costs less than Rs.1 lakh.

Speaking to The Hindu on the sidelines of a major entrepreneurs’ meeting here recently on Saturday, he said he was serving a social cause by making an indispensable product for rural women. Winner of National Innovation Foundation’s Grassroots Technological Innovations Award from the Indian President in 2009, the entrepreneur is currently on a mission to take the machine to the remote corners of the country and abroad, helping rural women to earn a living through minimum investment.

The machines, made by his enterprise, Jayaashree Industries, have been installed at hundreds of locations in the country, mostly in villages and tribal belts.

More than 800 brands of sanitary napkins are being produced by women self-help groups across the country.

“I have rejected offers from corporate entities to commercialise the product; my vision is to make India 100 per cent napkin-using country; my goal is to provide a million employment to poor women”, says Muruganantham.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 10:05:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/napkin-man-on-a-mission-to-empower-women/article6675132.ece

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