I have realized that saying the words "sanitary napkins" in public is like standing in a Hogwarts common room and saying "Voldemort."
There are some taboos which can never be wiped out from India.
All the village women here used cloth. And out of embarrassment they'd re-use the rags without first drying them in the sun.
Who knew about sanitary pads in the past? No one. The elders still wouldn't be able to explain their function.
You know the usage levels of sanitary pads in India? Only 7% commonly, and in rural areas only 2%. It was shameful for me to make sanitary pads for my wife and for my sisters. An American is needed. Finally India needed a school dropout to make sanitary pads for Indian women. So I used to collect used pads from medical college girls and I'd spread them out on a table in the backyard of my home. They gave off a bad odor, you know? I still have that smell in my nose.
The whole village thought I had a sexual disease. They didn't know what I was doing. They thought I was washing my private parts. I'd see some of my friends coming opposite to me while I'm walking, they would change their route! Because I'm uneducated, I kept going. If you're not educated, what will happen? You'll stop. Now any rural woman can produce a world-class napkin with my machine. That's why I'm calling what I'm doing a low-cost sanitary pad movement.There may be small errors in this transcript.