As part of their Women’s Day celebrations, Sathyabama University launched an initiative through which they will make low-cost sanitary napkins. The college has bought equipment from Arunachalam Muruganantham, who is popularly known as ‘Menstrual Man’, that will help them make these pads that will be given to destitute women in homes, orphanages and students from government schools in rural areas. Arunachalam is a social entrepreneur and inventor whose machines enable rural women to manufacture low-cost sanitary pads for their communities.
“This is just the beginning. We will start distributing these pads that will be made in the campus from March 27. This apart, we will start a campaign, ‘Blessed Bleed’, as part of which we will reach out to women and talk about personal hygiene and the need to use pads. It is a basic necessity and with the help of Arunachalam, who has received praise from all over the world for his work towards making sanitary pads affordable in rural areas, we will reach out to as many women as possible. We will also voice our views on the taxation of a basic product like sanitary pads,” says Dr Mariazeena Johnson, Pro Chancellor, Sathyabama University.
The pads will be made by the college staff at the cost of Rs. 2 per pad and they will be paid Rs. 5 per pad. Shibani Vasudevan, Head of Women Entrepreneur Bureau at the college, says, “Through this, the staff at the university will also get a chance to earn extra money. We have started with five staff members who make around 200 pads a day. There will be six pads in each pack. We plan to give away around 500 pads to the most vulnerable sections of the society, particularly those who can’t afford, in the coming days. We will also increase the operations and reach out to more institutions and NGOs to give away free pads.”