Indore: Bringing their ideas for implementation, four engineering students— Ishan Sharma, Dikshant Mahant, Divesh Sharma and Avinash Sharma— bagged second position in ‘SocCon-The Social Conquest!’ organised at IIT Kanpur recently.
Identifying a burning issue that impedes women’s life in villages, they came up with an idea and are hoping to implement it with the help of funding. Their idea won them Rs 20,000 along with certificates and trophy.
Understanding the problems of women in villages, the team has taken up a project to empower rural women by helping them manufacture their own sanitary pads, instead of using puzzling alternatives like sand and paper. Inspired by the efforts of social entrepreneur Padmashri Arunachalam Muruganantham, they decided to find a way to improve life of rural women.
“Our college is located in Manglia, which is on the outskirts of the city and near villages,” Dikshant said. Proximity to villages helped us understand and explore lifestyle there. “We went to a nearby village ‘Mam Bada Tigraiya’ and tried talking about sanitary pads,” Ishan said. As expected, villagers were apprehensive about discussing such topics, so Acropolis women cell team eased the conversation.
“SMost women were either unaware about sanitary pads or could not afford them,” Divesh said. Since, they did not know what to use, they tried finding solutions in sand, paper and cotton.
“Due to such solutions, these women suffer from various infections and diseases,” Avinash said. He added that since villagers do not know and talk about such issues, often women suffer throughout their life and finally die because of severe infections and diseases. Taking up the cause, students decided to start small manufacturing units in the villages. “We want to teach women how to make sanitary pads and empower them,” Divesh said.
Working on their ideas, they had been researching on the project as per suggestions of their faculty. “We surveyed various villages and requested for sponsorships,” Avinash said. Giving them hope, a social worker Amitabh Soni is willing to invest in their project for tribal area near Bhopal. “We have most our reports, so we are hoping to bring changes for these women, who are struggling for their own safety,” Avinash said.