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The Indian Sanitary Pad Revolutionary

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posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 01:13 PM
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Arunachalam Muruganantham - The Indian Sanitary Pad Revolutionary

His wife left him, even his mother!---but the man would not be stopped until he brought sanitary pads to the poor.


A school dropout from a poor family in southern India has revolutionised menstrual health for rural women in developing countries by inventing a simple machine they can use to make cheap sanitary pads.

In 1998 Arunachalam Muruganantham was a newlywed whose household also included his widowed mother. One day he discovered his wife was using filthy rags for her periods. When he asked why, she explained that their budget couldn't afford sanitary napkins.

Arunachalam went to work and boy o' boy was it a long strange trip that included his wife leaving him, his mother running away from home, being shunned by his village, and narrowly escaping being hung upside down from a tree!

Could it get any worse? Yes:



Finding volunteers to test his products was no mean feat. His sisters refused, so he had the idea of approaching female students at his local medical college. "But how can a workshop worker approach a medical college girl?" Muruganantham says. "Not even college boys can go near these girls!"

He managed to convince 20 students to try out his pads - but it still didn't quite work out. On the day he came to collect their feedback sheets he caught three of the girls industriously filling them all in. These results obviously could not be relied on. It was then that he decided to test the products on himself. "I became the man who wore a sanitary pad," he says.

He created a "uterus" from a football bladder by punching a couple of holes in it, and filling it with goat's blood. A former classmate, a butcher, would ring his bicycle bell outside the house whenever he was going to kill a goat. Muruganantham would collect the blood and mix in an additive he got from another friend at a blood bank to prevent it clotting too quickly - but it didn't stop the smell.

He walked, cycled and ran with the football bladder under his traditional clothes, constantly pumping blood out to test his sanitary pad's absorption rates. Everyone thought he'd gone mad.
My wife gone, my mum gone, ostracised by my village - I was left all alone in life”

Still, Arunachalam Muruganantham would not give up.


You really need to read the article yourself as it's a delightful story with surprising twists, a fantastic ending, and the last man standing is a cat we here at ATS can admire:



He believes that big business is parasitic, like a mosquito, whereas he prefers the lighter touch, like that of a butterfly. "A butterfly can suck honey from the flower without damaging it," he says…

He was once asked whether receiving the award from the Indian president was the happiest moment of his life. He said no - his proudest moment came after he installed a machine in a remote village in Uttarakhand, in the foothills of the Himalayas, where for many generations nobody had earned enough to allow children to go to school.

A year later, he received a call from a woman in the village to say that her daughter had started school. "Where Nehru failed," he says, "one machine succeeded."






Source: The Indian Sanitary Pad Revolutionary
edit on 4-3-2014 by The GUT because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 01:36 PM
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reply to post by The GUT
 


I don't understand why he had to do some much research on bloody sanitary napkins. Why didn't he just buy a few different well known, widely used brands already on the market, and study how they are made, and work from there to make them affordable and available for poor women?



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 01:44 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


Not quite sure but if he's the only game in town for India one might one to invest with this guy...



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by windword
 

That kind of commitment and attention to detail is probably why he has a President's Medal and you and I don't. From what I understand, while the necessary material needed to do the job correctly (think "wicking" and "trapping") is mostly cotton, a good pad requires other materials processed into it. He was checking for "absorption" and other desired qualities.


edit on 4-3-2014 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 01:49 PM
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What an amazing story, really. Being that it is such a touchy subject in his country, he went through so much. I think we as "westerners" forget how lucky we are, with even the simplest things.
But he is bringing change and hygiene to so many now, and is still humble.

Very great man.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 02:46 PM
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Arunachalam at INKtalks:

edit on 4-3-2014 by The GUT because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 03:00 PM
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reply to post by The GUT
 





That kind of commitment and attention to detail is probably why he has a President's Medal and you and I don't. From what I understand, while the necessary material needed to do the job correctly (think "wicking" and "trapping") is mostly cotton, a good pad requires other materials processed into it. He was checking for "absorption" and other desired qualities.




Unbeknown to him, the IIT entered his machine in a competition for a national innovation award. Out of 943 entries, it came first. He was given the award by the then President of India, Pratibha Patil - quite an achievement for a school dropout. Suddenly he was in the limelight.


He got his "Presidential Award" for the invention of the machine that makes these sanitary napkins available and provides jobs. He spent a lot time analyzing used sanitary napkins for design purposes, which freaked his wife and mother out! In my opinion, he would have avoided a lot of personal problems if had been able to study existing and proven brands already on the market. I'm just saying, there was no need to reinvent the sanitary napkin.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 05:15 PM
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reply to post by windword
 


As a high school dropout, he may not have had the monetary resources available to just up and buy sanitary pads. It mentions in the quotes that his own wife was using dirty rags. If they had the money for sanitary pads, don't you think she would have been using them herself instead of dirty rags? As it was, I'm guessing that just getting materials to try to make prototypes was a financial burden.



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 05:43 PM
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reply to post by The GUT
 




Around 1934 my mother was a newly married woman in a rural part of India

my father being head of the police for that, and surrounding areas

(Daltongang - Harazibagh etc) really out in the sticks!! Not much retail therapy

around there LOL ....

At that particular time of the month she sent the *staff* to the local shop

for 'sanitary' towels .... he returned from the shop with his bicycle over

loaded with towelling of every description .... hand towels, bath towels,

tea towels, facecloths and so on....


So my mother called at the shop and saw the owner who she asked where

he got his stock/supplies from and asked him to order in on his next order

some Dr Whites (the only ones available at that time)......


The very next time she had occasion to call at the shop, the owner came out

to greet her with a huge grin on his face and ushered her in to find that the

window the shelves and every visible surface was covered in packs of

Dr Whites sanitary towels, it was obvious he didn't know what they were

used for, and she never ever found out how he got rid of his vast stocks



However I do think he needs to be commended for his determination and

ingenuity
for the women of India. A well deserved recognition

edit on 4-3-2014 by eletheia because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 06:35 PM
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Great Story.

As for the product - who knows, me and the gals in my pod use Deva Cups. The things last forever, don't cut down trees or other fibers, no bleaching and and DON"T FILL GARBAGE DUMPS.

And you can mix the flow with water for a wonderful and magical fertilizer.
edit on 4-3-2014 by FyreByrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 07:11 PM
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reply to post by FyreByrd
 





Well you got me there? I've been out of that particular loop for some time.



Funnily enough one of the first jobs I had was with a Swedish company who were

introducing their *NEW* disposable product into this country (1970's) at that time

they were kept under the counter of shops wrapped in brown paper .... that was

(before supermarkets) and I was required to sell small counter displays of brightly

coloured plastic bagged packs to sit on the counter for the customer to help

themselves, and therefor saving embarrassment for the customer
. . . my how

times have changed!!!


And incidentally the first sanitary towels were *invented* by a Dr White to use up

the surplus dressings, gauze, and cotton wool which were left over after the first

world war!



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 07:34 PM
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My wife thinks Im crazy for thinking I could invent reusable toilet paper...but! Im SURE there's got to be a way!



posted on Mar, 4 2014 @ 09:13 PM
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Notices wife using filthy sanitary pads, spends the next few years being left by his wife, mother, family, friends, being hunted, ridiculed and ostracised while inventing revolutionary new sanitary pads.

Doesn't simply say "Hey honey, why don't you use the washing machine?"

Must be a man. lmao

(im a man, I'd have kept my bees wax out of it, tbh)

edit on 4-3-2014 by sn0rch because: (no reason given)



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