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It Is The Story Of Arunachalam Muruganantham - Who Is More Than Just A Padman

Date: 2018-02-11 22:53:01

By Erica


A man with a good thought. A man who is known today because of a Bollywood film. But what is the full story? How did he come to be known as Padman?

Today he is known as a social entrepreneur from Tamil Nadu. But how did he get this idea that women in rural areas needed sanitary napkins back in 2000, one day he saw his wife steal a cloth so dirty he wouldn't even consider using it to wash his scooter. Upon asking, he realized she used it when she was menstruating. He began wondering if all women went through the same thing? Did all the women in the village have to resolve to dirty pieces of cloth?

First, he tried making a pad by wrapping cotton in a cloth and handed it to his wife to experiment. It did not work and she decided to stick to cloth alone. He also found it hard to wait an entire month for every trial and needed more women to help him experiment. Next, he went to a medical college and asked girls there to try the pads he made and give him feedback. He thought they would be honest and not shy away as they were future doctors themselves. But when he went to collect the forms he saw that out of the entire group, two girls were filling out the forms for everyone. Finally, he tried it himself.

"I wore a napkin, tied a football bladder full of goat's blood to my waist and attached a pipe to it. But this technique did not work either."

He went back to the medical college and asked the girls to store their used napkins aside and hand them to him. When he received them, he laid them out in his backyard and inspected them. Upon inspection, he saw that the companies producing sanitary napkins used cellulose, not cotton. He imported a cellulose sample from the U.S. by this time, his mother had left him after she saw the backyard scene and went to stay with his sisters crying her eyes out and believing that someone had done something to her son. He had lost his mind.

When he received the sheet, he tore it and saw that it was made of fibers. Now all he needed was a machine. The plant companies used was too expensive and he had to come up with something better.

Today, his workshop Jayaashree Industries produces sanitary napkin-making machines in bulk. He has supplied the units to over 200 districts in India. In 2006, at IIT Madras his invention won the National Innovation Foundation's Grassroots Technological Innovations Award which helped him to get funding for his organization. In 2014, TIME magazine placed him in the list of 100 Most Influential People In The World. Two years later, in 2016, he received the Padma Shri. In 2009 he won an award at the National Innovation Foundation's (NIF) fifth National Biennial Competition for unaided grassroots innovations.


Of course not only women but he has helped society by breaking stereotypes and the belief that discussing menstruation and periods is taboo. Thank you, Arunachalam Muruganantham.

TAGS: padman, akshay kumar, real life, Arunachalam Muruganantham

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