Creating sustainable livelihood projects in the rural India

 March 19, 2021

The project was initiated in 2018 by the Paralympic woman, Neelavathi. Neelavathi runs a small sewing unit in a small city in Tamil Nadu region, called Nillakottai Dindigul. 

Together with other disabled women, Neelavathi worked for the textile industry, but through funding from the Rejuvenate India Movement she succeeded in starting a Safepad livelihood project and to build up a small local manufacturing unit.

Due to her disability, Neelavathi personally had problems in using disposable pads and often she received a feedback of similar issues from her co-workers. This is one of the reasons of why this project is so important for her.

In the beginning it was a challenge to find ways to market the more environmentally friendly sanitary pad solution, but with help from the District Collector of Dindigul she was given the opportunity to present the project to government schools in Dindigil. This was the turning point and with help from several women’s self-help groups she is now continuously expanding her outreach.  

Today, the enquiries for more awareness on menstrual health management and further access to her sustainable menstrual products are increasing daily, both in and outside Tamil Nadu.

Today, with all the struggles and hurdles overcome, Neelavathi has contributed to change more than 5000 women and girls from using disposable pads to using the more environmentally friendly Safepad.

At the same time, she has provided employment to more than 80 women including tailors and saleswomen.