Kolkata: Three women entrepreneurs embarked on a journey in 2014 to produce eco-friendly and affordable sanitary pads to benefit rural women in India. Founded by Kristin Kagetsu, Amrita Saigal and Grace Kane, social enterprise ‘Saathi’ is currently aiming to deliver one million biodegradable sanitary pads made from banana fibre to rural women in Jharkhand.
Kristin Kagetsu, co-founder and CEO of Saathi told IANS, “We are partnering with NGOs to distribute pads to women in urban slums and rural villages. The target as of now is to deliver one million pads in rural Jharkhand in a year.”
Ms Kagetsu, a graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said they were driven by the fact that over 27 crore women in India are unable to access pads as they are costly, difficult to discard and scarcely available.
The production plant, headquartered in Ahmedabad, is operated by women who source waste banana tree fibre from the banana plantation belt in the city.
According to Kristen, these pads, made from biodegradable banana fibre, are sustainable, highly-absorbent and non-toxic. The price, she says, will also be cheaper than the ones which are commercially available.
Saathi is one of the top 20 ventures featuring in the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-2017, a national level challenge to find India’s most promising social enterprises.
(With inputs from IANS)