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He has been working non-stop for 20 years. He travelled by bullock carts, donkeys, bulls, phatphat to reach the most interiors parts of rural India with only one mission in mind – making sanitary pads available for rural women. Little did he know that his small efforts will trigger India’s sanitary pad revolution. Arunachalam Muruganantham

Muruganantham stands next to his invention: a machine that allows rural Indian women to manufacture their own sanitary towels

The sanitary pad revolution in rural India. Indian school girls stand before the sanitary pad machine

Arunachalam Muruganantham has helped bring cheap sanitary pads to rural India, by inventing a simple machine to make them - but it nearly cost him his marriage.

Poor women in India have a man to thank for their low-cost menstrual supplies. Arunachalam Muruganantham risked his marriage and his family in order to revolutionize the production of maxi-pads so that they be made more affordable to poor women. In much of rural India, women were using rags, leaves or even newspapers as pads. Girls often miss school during their periods, or will drop out all together, because they’re unable to manage their menstruation.

The Sanitary Pad Revolution: Muruganantham shows women how the machine to make low-cost sanitary pad works. Women choose their own brand-name for their range of sanitary pads, so there is no over-arching brand - it is "by the women, for the women, and to the women". [http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-26260978]

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