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Ashok Kurien – Menstrual Hygiene

Ashok Kurien is the Founder-Promoter and Director of Zee
Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., Dish TV India Ltd.,, Ambience
Advertising, Hanmer & Partners Public Relations, Livinguard Technologies, and Ambience Business Services P.Ltd. He is also the co- inventor of Saafkins.

Kurien is involved with a number of charities, NGOs, and social service organisations. In 2001, he founded his own charitable trust, Ammada Trust, to help underprivileged communities. His trust funds villagers and helps them get water. 8 years ago, while he was creating water filters in villages with a gentleman, he came up with an idea of making sanitary napkins. That is when they together came up with a product called “Saafkins“.

How this idea came in his mind?

While working with the brand ‘Whisper’, he used to personally visit and listen to the women talking about their needs for menstrual hygiene. Once someone asked them to make napkins at an affordable price because most of the women used home products.

Twenty years down the line, he started looking for the various uses of fabric, he was deeply hurt and offended by the fact that 90% of the women could not afford sanitary napkins. This made him create an affordable, washable and reusable product.

He discovered that many schools didn’t have a girl’s washroom and girls had to miss 5 days of school every month!

Such thoughts encouraged him to create a product which need not be changed during the day. He and his friend ended up with 120 ml of absorption, a dry product, i.e., the blood is absorbed down below and surface remains dry. The product used to kill bacteria and was hygienic. It even reduces body odour.

The period panty avoids leakage and can be effectively taken off and on like any panty. This was done mainly so that girls don’t miss school.

Rural girls and women are easily able to discuss such topics with NGOs and women self-groups. They are working with NGOs to help distribute the product in rural areas.

Give up 5 has helped them raise a lot of fund.