Raised in a women-only family, Arunachalam Muruganantham — the revolutionary Pad man who brought sanitary pads to rural India — always knew the power of women. In his view, the difference between a developing nation and a developed nation lies with its women.

“All countries where women are empowered, those countries are called developed nations. Countries where women are not empowered are called developing and under-developed countries,” Muruganantham told SheThePeople.TV.

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DESPITE FACING RIDICULE, HE SOLDIERED ON

The social entrepreneur, who runs Jayshree Industries that makes sustainable and affordable sanitary products for women in rural India, had a rough start when he got the idea of making sanitary pads on his own. He went through many hardships where people, including the women—his own wife and mother—detested him for his experiments and called him names, but he never gave up.

He said, “I worked in an engineering platform, so even if I failed 9,999 times, I’ll attempt for the 10,000th time again. I never believed in luck or astrology for my invention to work out. And I believe and say it often ‘be near science and technology and you will never be disclaimed’. Because even if I fail today, I have faith that if I change the angle of the blade or material tomorrow, may be the machine will work perfectly. And this way, I kept going on and never bothered about who was with me or not.”

“The only actor who talked about menstrual hygiene is Akshay Kumar. And I am really happy that he will play my character in the film. The film will definitely create more awareness on this topic”- Arunachalam Muruganantham

BREAKING TABOO AND CREATING AWARENESS

Currently, more than 1,300 machines made by his start-up company are installed across 27 states in India and several cities of seven other countries. In 2006, this machine won the best innovation for the betterment of society award from the IIT, Chennai.

Yet, Muruganantham does not feel that he has succeeded. He said, “I created awareness. Now people are addressing this issue in India and across the world. Now that it is becoming a revolution, I have put it on the public dais for the people.”

ABOUT THE MOVIE

A movie on Muruganatham starring Akshay Kumar is currently in the works. “When you say it is cinema, it is for the masses to be aware. The only actor who talked about menstrual hygiene is Akshay Kumar. And I am really happy that he will play my character in the film. The film will definitely create more awareness on this topic,” said Muruganantham.

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