Sunday, 21 July 2013

meaningful life ...

One of the amazing videos on the idea caravan is the presentation be Mr.Arunachalam Maraganantham, a school dropout and his story of how he turned his normal life into a meaningful life.
Few things that I loved about Mr. Arunachalam... His sense of humor, way of putting things and his immense love for his wife.

In India, no matter how modern we might become few things are still considered as taboo...... talking about sex..... female and male body parts ....... and the one that every girl has to face every month... her menstrual cycle a.k.a periods.

Let us imagine a case where a college girl just came out of her college, entered local bus, calls her friend in a bus itself. Due to network problem she has to say few things loud every now and then when her friend was not able to her her...... This seems to be a usual scenario isn't it ....... now image the girl is asking her friend if her period is over...... imagine if she says this sentence loud 'Is your period over ???? since you and I know what exactly she was talking about we won't react in an absurd manner but people in that bus would definitely start staring her as if she has just said there is a bomb on this bus.

OK, try this yourself, if you are a girl, when you are with your friends out in a public place in between of your normal conversation just randomly say the word period loud enough for other people to hear you....... and you will know what I am talking about.... 
In our outrageously conservative society, outrageous because we adapt all the outrageous ways to stick to our conservative society norms.. in this society females lack the basic education of their body ...... they do not understand the importance of hygiene in a female's life ... how dangerous infections can be but no they don't want to use sanitary napkins they will use rag cloth, plant leaves, husk, saw dust and even ashes. 

I know this problem every well as few of my second cousins live in a remote places in Rajasthan, every time they go to any city they buy packets of sanitary pads in bulk as they can not dare to go to any local shop and ask for sanitary pads in their village and when they run out of sanitary pads they use rag cloths and wait for next trip to a near city. Though they are aware of the hygiene issues and can afford sanitary pads but then again comes the society norms to push them back to use cloth instead.

Mr.Arunachalam identified this problem for the first time some time after he got married, he got to know the problem of affordability for hygienic life for his rural women and decided to help them. He faced opposition from his own wife and sisters first then his mother and society. His wife even produced a divorce before him but this did not stopped him.
He tested sanitary pads on his own and became the first man to wear a sanitary pad, thus after some courses of trial and error he came up with a suitable design which was low cost thus affordable for rural women.

His story is truly inspiring. How he turn lives to millions, he created direct employment for 7000 poor women and shifted 1.5 million women from unhygienic way to hygienic sanitary pads and called it silent " second white revolution ".

With his witty style he discusses the need for a meaningful life in a black and white world, colourful world being the metro cities.
He says for a business all you need is a problem, don't chase money just solve that problem because solution to that problem is what you can call a business.

To see the whole video click here or watch here itself video is available below.

PS: This post is an entry for contest by Franklin Templeton India

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