Bangalore, Sept 9: Fifty-two year old Arunachalam Muruganantham was shocked to see his wife using dirty rags during her periods and when he asked her about it, she answered that buying sanitary napkins would hit the budget of buying milk for the children.
The man felt troubled and decided to make experimental pads by himself. Everyday, Muruganantham, son of a handloom weaver and a school dropout, focused on making sanitary pads after work everyday. In the beginning, he tried to get feedback from his wife and sisters on his pads but they did not feel free to talk to him on the subject. He even tried to get feedback from other girls but that too didn't help. He tried to study used pads to get feedback after distributing them freely among students of a local medical college but his mother thought he had gone mad and left him.
Muruganantham even used the pads on himself by using a bladder with animal blood but was ridiculed for his act. His preoccupation with the subject of providing a relief to women having periods annoyed his family and he was virtually ostracised.
Even Muruganantham's mother left him after seeing his action thinking he was mad
But the man did not lose heart. It took him two years to understand that commercial pads use cellulose fibres found from pine wood pulp that help in absorption and Murugananthalam built a low-cost machine and made arrangements to get the pine wood pulp from Mumbai.
In 2006, Muruganantham visited IIT Madras where he received suggestions on his idea and his invention was registered for the National Innovation Foundation's Grassroots Technological Innovations Award and he received an award from the then President Pratibha Patil for the idea.
In 2013, a documentary was made on Muruganantham's story titled Menstrual Man. The man is a well-known social entrepreuner today and enthrals his audience at various lectures though his rustic but absorbs talks.
In 2014, TIME placed him among the 100 most influential people in the world.