The Sanitary Pad Revolution

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Shortly after marrying his wife in 1998, Arunachalam Muruganantham discovered that his wife used rags during menstruation, as their family—living in southern India—could not afford to buy sanitary pads on a regular basis due to their relatively high price. Learning that similar women living in the surrounding villages resorted to using unhygienic materials such as sand, sawdust, leaves and ash (the Indian government would later find that only 12% of women in India use sanitary pads), he sought out to build a better, affordable sanitary pad by inventing a low-cost method of production—and employs women to make them. BBC News covers the story of Muruganantham’s journey as a high school dropout who revolutionized health practices for women in rural India.