A Social Entrepreneur Muruganandham Achievements
Mr. Arunachalam Muruganantham is a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore. He had invented the low-cost sanitary napkin making machine. His vision is to make hygienic napkin to the women in rural areas. His invention had spread over 23 states in India. He is currently planning to expand his invention at international level.
Who is he
He is a son of hand loom weaver at Coimbatore. His father died in road accident when he was 14 and he stopped his education. He had done various jobs to run his life. He had worked as welder, machine tool operator and farm worker.
What motivated him
Shortly after marrying Shanthi, he noticed she is carrying something hiding from him. When he asked about it he does not get proper reply. He found, his wife was using unhygienic cloth during menstrual period. Immediately he went to buy sanitary napkins to his wife, there his research begins. He found the sanitary napkins were at high cost and the people below poverty cannot buy this. He tried to make own sanitary napkins with cotton. But these were rejected by his wife and sisters.
Then he wanted to find what the difference between his and multinational company's sanitary pads. He found the truth lay behind after many experiments. He even got used napkins from women and did the experiments on it. He put himself wearing sanitary napkins by the fitting tube and pumping animal blood into it.
What he invented
He had the abnormal confidence that he can develop cheaper sanitary napkins. He discovered commercial pads are made of cellulose fibers derived from pine bark wood pulp. When he gathered information about the machine, he was upset. He found the cost of the machine was several crores.
He planned to construct his own machine for making sanitary napkins. After many years of struggles he invented the machine to make sanitary napkins. His confident gave him new way to approach IIT Madras and get their suggestions. They register his invention to National Innovation Foundation and his invention won the Grassroots Technological Innovation Award.
The machine became popular for his less cost and simplicity. He had refused all the proposals to make it commercial from the great organizations and continuing to sell machines for rural women and self help groups. He is doing it for social aid and good cause. He had won many awards as a social entrepreneur. He had given speech at IIT Madras, IIT Bombay, IIT Bangalore and at Harvard.
The documentary film 'Menstrual Man' is about Muruganandham directed by Amit Virmani which was premiered at many international festivals and nominated for awards. He had been placed one among the 100 Most Influence People in the world on 2014 by TIME magazine.