Man creates the perfect sanitary pad and wins back wife

Meet Arunachalam Muruganantham, India's "Menstruation Man."

Early in his marriage, Arunachalam Muruganantham discovered his wife, Shanti, was using old rags instead of sanitary pads to manage her period. So to impress Shanti, he set out to create an affordable alternative to store-bought pads. As he delved further into the project, Muruganantham realized how widespread the problem was — his wife was just one of 300 million Indian women who couldn't afford sanitary pads. Access is particularly limited in India's rural areas and according to a 2014 report by the BBC, poor menstrual hygiene is the cause of 70 percent of the reproductive diseases across the country.

Still, for all of his noble efforts, Muruganantham's plan to please his wife hit a snag. In an early testing phase, he used a rubber "uterus" filled with animal blood to test his prototypes, the stains and stench from which alarmed neighbours and eventually caused his wife to leave him. Five years later, Shanti realized how dedicated he was to the cause and decided to reconcile.

The story has resurfaced in a brilliant short documentary by Al Jazeera English, which recounts how Muruganantham designed a process used by 877 brands to create sanitary pads at half the price. Just think: All he really set out to do was score points with his wife.


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