Here’s a fantastic story about a man who has dedicated his entire life towards developing low-cost sanitary pads. Meet 65-year-old Mahesh Khandelwal, the scientist and now an entrepreneur, who developed this project which sells a pack of six sanitary napkins for just Rs 10.
Born and brought up in a small town in Uttar Pradesh, Khandelwal carefully observed the problems of that rural women faced because of unavailability of sanitary napkins at affordable prices. Then he decided to take on the challenge. After extensive research, he has successfully developed the best alternatives which are eco-friendly, cost-effective and easy to use.
Being a man, I didn’t know much about menstruation. So I read up a lot, talked to women and researched on the subject extensively – Mahesh Khandelwal
Khandelwal formed a sustainable model under Redcross Kutir Udyog of Vrindaban and started manufacturing products with the help of women from the lower income families.
Apart from producing sanitary napkins, Khandelwal has also designed a machine which can produce 2,000 packets of sanitary napkins in a day. Recently, with the help of NGO Deepalaya, students from IIT Delhi bought a sanitary napkin-making unit from him and set up in a remote area of Rajasthan.
With minimal profit margin and no sales and marketing costs, the price per unit will be among the lowest in the country – Abhishek Agarwal, a second-year student of Chemical Engineering at IIT-Delhi.
There are over 30 crore women in India who need sanitary napkins every month and at the same time many women use unhygienic alternatives to sanitary pads which puts them at a huge risk of infection. Also thousands of girls aged between 13 and 19 miss a week of school every month, for the lack of sanitary pads. This project is an effort to change this.