Women in the Western Indian state of Maharashtra are losing daily wages, and young women are missing up to 50 days of school per year, and all because of a lack of affordable sanitary towels. This is a social problem than can be solved through social entrepreneurship and Anandi Pads, created by Jaydeep Mandal of Aakar Innovations, aims to abolish this obstacle for girls by creating affordable, accessible green solutions.
How Jaydeep Mandal and Anandi Pads is Solving an Education Crisis with Affordable, Accessible and Compostable Sanitary Towels
Numerous girls and women worldwide stay away from school and work because of inadequate sanitary towel options. Jaydeep Mandal and his team at Aakar Innovations have created something truly unique known as the Anandi Pad. This sanitary towel is designed to be affordable and accessible for everybody in Maharashtra, with eight pads costing just 20 rupees.
Not only does the product keep girls in education, but all the profits go to the female entrepreneurs, empowering women in this developing nation. Mandal ensures that the manufacturing processes within his company are ethical and female-led. The pads are manufactured by several groups, and are sold by women at group meetings, avoiding any embarrassment that may come with purchasing pads from male-owned stores. The factories that produce Anandi Pads serve up to 6,000 women a month, and all machines are ergonomically designed to ensure that factory workers do not suffer from repetitive strain injury at any time. All of the products adhere to high quality standards from the government, meaning the low cost doesn’t compromise on functionality or durability.
Just as important is the fact that Anandi Pads help to prevent disease and illness, saving thousands of lives each year. That’s because without viable alternatives, women typically use cotton rags, newspapers and other substances as makeshift sanitary towels. This contributes to higher levels of illness and disease such as cervical cancer and infection.
If all of these benefits weren’t enough, the absorbent materials found within each pad are sourced from local waste, which also reduces the environmental imprint of each Anandi Pad. Plus, just 90 minutes of electricity is needed each day for 2,000 pads a day to be produced.
About this Entrepreneur for a Change: Jaydeep Mandal
Jaydeep Mandal is the founder and the managing director of Aakar Innovations, which is the company behind the innovative Anandi Pad. Jaydeep is a passionate engineer and inventor. He created the company with a view to creating sustainable change in the rural parts of India. He now does this successfully with a large team, adopting grassroots innovations and changing lives.
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