This innovator is trying to make sanitary pads affordable for women in India

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

JUDY WOODRUFF: But first: an unlikely innovation from an unusual innovator.

Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro has the story of one man who has made it his mission to bring affordable hygiene products to women in India.

Its part of our series Agents for Change.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Arunachalam Muruganantham says he was a born tinkerer, obsessed with figuring out how things worked, from toys to bicycles. He grew up in poverty after his father died young, dropped out of school and became a welder, a lower-middle-class occupation in India.

ARUNACHALAM MURUGANANTHAM, Inventor: To support my mother, I stop my schooling.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: But his natural curiosity apparently knew no bounds. Years later, it took him into a strictly taboo area in India’s tradition-bound society: menstrual hygiene.

ARUNACHALAM MURUGANANTHAM: We are able to break the taboo, and using it.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO: He’s become known as India’s pad man.

Your goal is to have every woman in this country use sanitary pads, if they need it?


FRED DE SAM LAZARO: A movement begun by a man who knew almost nothing about the female body until after he was married.

You didn’t even know what menstruation at all. You had no idea what it was. Is that correct?

Source: PBS (link opens in a new window)

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