Rags to Pads featured on NPR!

Back in summer 2008, Jenny and I raised money to help Pardada Pardadi buy a machine that manufactures menstrual pads. Pardada Pardadi, as many of you remember, is the charity that Jenny worked for: they run a school for poor girls out in rural Uttar Pradesh. But their area has few economic opportunities for its graduates. Our fundraiser was meant to solve this problem and address a serious health problem at the same time:

Pardada Pardadi is located in an area of Uttar Pradesh so poor that many women can’t afford pads during their period. So they typically use rags torn off old saris to staunch their flow — a practice that risks terrible infection every period from puberty to menopause.

We are raising $5000 to help Pardada Pardadi buy a machine that makes sanitary pads and support two of the school’s graduates as they start a pad-making business. The goal is to create a self-sustaining business that sells pads at around 25 rupees for packs of ten — simultaneously bringing an affordable and sanitary option to women on their periods while creating economic opportunities for women in an area that has next to none.

We raised over $5000, with many donations coming from readers of this blog. That money was matched by a grant from the DuPont corporation. The machines were purchased, the business was created — and now the story has been picked up by NPR! Read their article here.

We’re very proud to have played  apart in creating this opportunity. If you’re interested in Pardada Pardadi’s broader mission (like preventing the marriage of 13-year-old girls), we encourage you to donate.

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6 responses to “Rags to Pads featured on NPR!

  1. Wow! So proud that we gave to this.

  2. THAT is phenomenal!!

  3. Hi, i have been following your blog since last one month and i look forward to all the interesting posts. while i was reading this post something struck me and i thought of sharing it with you guys- i am not sure what kind of sanitary pads is been talked about here- the regular one or the cloth one.
    In many parts of india and majority of indian women in cities and villages in India (estimated to be about 90%- the regular sanitary napkin market in india is very narrow) use cloth instead of the regular manufactured sanitary napkins.
    Also many NGO’s have encouraged women to use cloth and not the regualr pads because of ecological and economic reasons, especially the Ngo’s working in rural areas. Cloth napkins are not only environmental friendly but they can also be used in a very healthy way. certain parameters need to be followed during washing of the used napkins and drying them properly under the sun.
    ‘Goonj’ is a delhi based ngo which has worked on a similar campaign but encouraging the use of cloth sanitary napkins. you can check them at- goonj.org and http://www.goonj.org/not_just_apiece.html

  4. I actually agree with Kritika. Here in the west environmentalists (like me!) are pushing for things like proper cloth pads or menstrual cups instead of chemical-laden pads or tampons which land in the landfill and cause health problems. I do understand that they’re not practical in some places (due to the washing situation, and i know cups would be out of the question for rural unmarried girls) but I’ve been wondering if there was any motion towards reusable or enviro-friendly options as well. Going to check out that site!

    But, disposable pads are certainly better than what the women are using now, so It’s still a very important job they’re doing!

  5. Thanks and i really appreciate your efforts… 🙂

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