Called the ‘Pioneer in Menstrual Hygiene’ by UNICEF, Kannaghi Chandrashekhar started a self-help group in 1998 with three napkin production units in Pudukottai.
CHENNAI: It was a hot summer afternoon in 1992 in Keeranur, Pudukottai. A young woman had come to the local bank to apply for loan. But she was constantly squirming on her seat. Kannaghi Chandrashekhar, the bank manager, asked her the reason for her discomfort. The woman said she was ill at ease because she was using cloth instead of a sanitary napkin. She was struggling.
This conversation was the turning point of Chandrashekhar’s life. She undertook a survey in 77 villages in Tamil Nadu about menstrual hygiene in 1992. The results were shocking. Most of the women used old, dirty pieces of cloth as pads and did not wash them properly. In urban areas, women had a problem of where to dispose the pads. They would often dump it in the sewage, making it very dirty.
Called the ‘Pioneer in Menstrual Hygiene’ by UNICEF, Kannaghi started a self-help group in 1998 with three napkin production units in Pudukottai. The first unit was set up in Mullai Nagar. She also set up an NGO, WOMAN, in 1998. The groups produced and sold napkins called ‘Woman Care’. “I just show them the method to make napkins and help them till they achieve profits. After that, they manage the expenses and buy the equipment themselves,” says Kannaghi.Read more
Source web page: The New Indian Express