"With my mission to tackle societal issues related to sustainable solutions for women hygiene, I launched my startup with the aim of bringing change for rural women."
My name is Meghna Rathore and I am a woman entrepreneur from Rajasthan, India. I am the founder of Nariksha, an initiative to spread awareness about menstrual health hygiene. I am currently pursuing my master’s in business administration from MLSU University, Udaipur.
Ever since I was young, I have been driven to make change in the society we live in and over the years my focus shifted to empowering women, most importantly rural women. While looking over the issues that a woman faces in her day-to-day life, I realized menstrual health is one such issue that is very much talked about but less worked upon. I often talk about the three aspects of my life: 1) how proud I am of being a woman, 2) the importance of promoting menstrual hygiene, and 3) the taboos around menstrual health.
Coming from a rural background I always had an idea about the issues of a rural women and this is what led me to start my own company, NARIKSHA PADS PRIVATE LIMITED. The word “Nariksha” stands for protection of women.
With my mission to tackle societal issues related to sustainable solutions for women hygiene, I launched my startup with the aim of bringing change for rural women. On one of my visits to my village, I ran a campaign on rural development, and while interacting with the women I realized that women face a lot of health issues during their menstruation period. Some of these health issues are vaginal infection, itching, rashes and dioxins, which sometimes lead to cancer. At the same time through reading the newspaper regularly, I noticed the problem of stubble burning (rice husk) . The removal of this stubble through burning creates a huge amount of pollution. To tackle the situation, we found a solution that uses the zero waste circular economy concept. In this way, we are solving women's health problems as well as environmental problems.
NARIKSHA manufactures organic and biodegradable sanitary pads using Parali and bio-waste. These sanitary pads are 100% biodegradable and organic. NARIKSHA pads help farmers with utilizing their waste and women with solving their hygiene problem. The best part of the napkins is that these are completely biodegradable and also work like fertilizer in the soil. Currently we are at the minimal viable stage. We have received recognition with awards including National B-PLAN competition, GIZ Organization, Her&Now Project, and the Young Achievers in Women.
Through Nariksha, we have found a way to source natural eco-friendly materials for sanitary pads to make a product that not only has a positive impact on women but is also beneficial to the environment. We are motivated by the potential to make a positive difference for women in India while using a circular economy approach focused on ecology and sustainability.