Bio-degradable sanitary pads made out of discarded banana fibre
Reports say that adolescent girls in backward regions miss about five days of school in a month because of poor menstrual protection and around 23% of these girls drop out of school after they start menstruating. Cultural stigmas and taboos prevent many women in rural India from easily accessing safe sanitary protection. The lack of access and proper sanitary pads and reuse of old pads lead to serious infections. Saathi Pads, a social startup has addressed this growing concern by creating environment-friendly sanitary napkins. Started by MIT and Nirma graduates Kristin Kagtesu, Amrita Saigal, Grace Kane and Tarun Bothra, the startup creates sanitary pads from discarded banana tree fibres, manufactured in a sustainable way, and are 100% biodegradable. Saathi Pads have won several accolades for the innovation including the Harvard Business School’s New Venture Competition in the Social Enterprise Track (2014), selected as the MIT Dlab Scale-Up Fellows for 2015 and the Hello Tomorrow Global Startup Challenge in 2017.