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.