A menstrual pad is worn by women while menstruating, bleeding after giving birth, recovering from gynecologic surgery, experiencing a miscarriage or abortion, or in any other situation where a flow of blood from the vaginal canal needs to be absorbed. In poverty-stricken areas, women are unable to afford this necessity. But someone devised a way to manufacture affordable menstrual pads for these women in India. But who is this Pad Man?
Arunachalam Muruganantham, the “Pad Man” figured out a way to make menstrual pads affordable for the poor. He invented it for his wife to make her more comfortable during her menstrual cycle.
Who is the Pad man?
Arunachalam Muruganantham, who is currently 60 years old, is a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore, India. But, he claims, there was a moment when his neighbors thought he was insane.
It all started because I wanted to create a good sanitary napkin for my wifeArunachalam Muruganantham
Muruganantham married Shanthi Natrajan. At the onset of her monthly cycle, he noticed her absorbing blood with ripped rags. The extent to which this technique was practiced astonished him. Other women in the Coimbatore area made use of whatever they had on hand, such as wrapping little mounds of ash or sand in cotton.
In the ’90s, the napkins were available in Indian stores and supermarkets, but because of high production costs, they were out of reach of many.Arunachalam Muruganantham
When he wrapped tufts of cotton in gauze, he thought he’d solved the problem. However, he quickly discovered that his handcrafted product was weak and would disintegrate in a matter of minutes. His wife told him that it wasn’t easy to use either.
Muruganantham’s single-minded dedication lasted nine years and nearly cost him his wife. Still, it paid off in creating a machine that could produce low-cost, high-quality sanitary napkins. In 2014, he was named one of Time magazine’s top 100 influential people. In 2016, he received the Padma Shri, an Indian national honor awarded to civilians for their achievements in society. (Source: NPR)
The Pad Man Movie
Pad Man is a film that depicts the narrative of a 10th-grade dropout who, against overwhelming odds and numerous failures, succeeded in improving the lives of rural women.
Muruganantham, the son of a textile weaver, had spent many years working in an iron welding business, where he discovered he was skilled with his hands and enjoyed constructing things.
Padman, with its compelling tale and charismatic ensemble, succeeds in dispelling the stigma surrounding menstruation hygiene. Kumar gives a heartfelt and honest performance that makes the audience cheer for Lakshmi. At the same time, Apte’s Gayatri does an excellent job capturing the fears and frustrations of rural Indians who are unwilling to speak up about the situation.
It permits people who aren’t familiar with periods or sanitary health practices to ask similar questions regarding menstruation.
Padman is an upbeat and well-intentioned picture that hits all right notes with its messages. (Source: NPR)