Living in our bubbles, we don’t get to see much reality of the world and as a result, never realise the extent of disparity in the society. People are going through unimaginable hardships in their lives and fight daily against poverty, hunger, violence and inequality. Suhani Mohan, along with her team, is working to make the lives of poor women, a little easier.
While researching on menstrual hygiene practices in urban slums in Mumbai, Suhani found out that most women living in the slums, use rags, newspapers and other unhygienic material during their periods, which in turn leads to reproductive tract infections. So, Suhani along with her friend Kartik Mehta, founded Saral Designs in 2015, which is a product driven start-up, with the mission of solving critical problems in the field of menstruation, hygiene and sanitation.
Saral has developed a low-cost process (machine designed and developed in-house) for manufacturing high quality sanitary napkins at a decentralized level. Decentralization cuts down several middle-men in the process of distribution.
Saral Designs has launched ‘Aisha Ultra XL’ sanitary napkins that are ultra-thin pads with wings with quality as good as some big brands. These pads are being made available to girls who lack access, via various channels like medical shops, door-to-door sales and installation of vending machines in their schools toilets along with hygiene awareness.
Hygienic menstrual protection is a basic need for every woman, absence of which has led to 70 percent of women in India contracting reproductive tract infections. – Suhani Mohan
On future plans, Suhani says that they want to make further developments in the product to make it easier to use and dispose of, optimise distribution channels to reach different geographies in a cost-effective manner. Their long-term objective is to provide every adolescent girl with cost-effective lasting hygiene solutions and help them embrace their womanhood with dignity.
Saral Designs is a bold and much needed step towards the well-being of our women. It’s imperative to compositely develop and empower women as we progress from a developing nation towards a developed nation as, in the immortal words of Pt Jawaharlal Nehru said, “One can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women”.