Iodine deficiency? Maharashtra shows the way with a 'Bindi'

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New Delhi, April 16: The most underprivileged tribal women of Maharashtra now have a way to compensate for their iodine deficiency. An iodine patch on their forehead that also acts like a Bindi. These bindis were distributed last month among the tribal women of north-west Maharashtra, near the villages of Nashik and Ahmednagar for free.

Dr Prachi, president Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Centre, a Nashik NGO said, "Each woman got 30 bindis to last a month. When stuck on the forehead, it delivers the daily required amount of iodine - 100-150 micro grams - to the body by absorption through the skin."

Iodine deficiency? Maha shows the way

Perceived by the Grey for Good, a philanthropic arm of advertising and marketing agency of Grey Group, the Life Saving Dot-Jeevan Bindi was researched in Singapore. The focus area of the research was the fact that Iodine could be absorbed through the skin. Hence, they decided on this iodine patch to give it a greater appeal.

In an interview with indiatimes, account director of Grey, Gaurav Arora said,"Almost every Indian woman wears a bindi. Transforming these into iodine patches ensured that women got the required dosage of iodine without making changes to their daily behaviour."

This was a two-sided sword for the Indian women as they could adorn themselves with it as well as get an iodine supplement, instead of taking tablets which they did not grow the habit of. The bindi needs to be worn everyday for upto eight hours and can also be worn by pregnant woman. The NGO, however, is yet to monitor the effects of the patch.

Importance of Iodine: Explained

According to several medical resaerches, Iodine deficiency can lead to a number of disorders including goitre, impaired mental development and thyroid issues, which may also lead to breat cancer and fibroids.

The National Iodine Deficiency Disorders Control Programme states that the high level of such diorders are found in Indian women because 71 million Indians suffer from iodine deficiency disorders.

71 million Indian women suffer from Iodine deficiency.

Women of child-bearing age need the supplement even more, as Children born to Iodine-deficient mothers are low in IQ and also suffer from cretinism, which is a neurological condition.

Grey, meanwhile is working on the second phase of the project where they plan to make these bindis available in the market for everyone. Arora said,"We are in the midst of ironing out details for production and distribution."

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