Sakhi: Care Taker

Enable thousands of rural women have access to affordable sanitary napkins

By: Bharati Idate

  • Social,Closed

Project Goal : $ 10,075 USD

Amount Funded : $ 90 USD | 0.89%

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In a country where women used sawdust, cloth and dried leaves during menstruation, Mrs Bharati Idate has been producing sanitary napkins for women post delivery in rural areas of Maharashtra for over a decade. Now, she wants to expand her reach and produce generic napkins that can be used by all the women. For this she needs INR 6.5 lakhs (about USD 10,500) which will cover the unit installation charges, costs for training women, getting initial raw material and for the door to door marketing of her product.


Mrs Bharati Idate is the founder of the Bharati Mahila Audyogik Sahakari Sanstha Limited, Vita. This women's co-operative is based out of a small village named Vita in the Sangli District of Maharashtra, India. The two main aims of the co-operative is work towards a better healthcare facilities for rural women and empowering women by providing education and employment opportunities.Mrs Idate now produces and sells affordable sanitary napkin - Care Taker -  to women in rural Maharashtra. With the help of a self designed machine and two women helpers, she is able to sell each packet of Care Taker (8 napkins each) at Rs 15 as opposed to other brands that sell each packet in the range of Rs 27 - Rs 32. However, Care Taker napkins are for the use of those women who have recently delivered a baby. The current manufacturing unit does not facilitate the production of those napkins that can be generally used by all women.

How It All Started

Mrs Idate, a 12th grade pass out, came to reside in Vita after her marriage. Vita is a small village in Maharashtra known for its fabric mills (some of them even exists today). The Idate family too owned a powerloom factory which had to be shut down in 1994 due to recurring losses. Post this,  Mrs Idate tried her hands on various small scale businesses like selling papad and other Indian snacks. But all went in vain.

She had yet not heard of the concept of sanitary napkins and like all other women around used cloth during menstruation. Post the delivery of her only son, she was provided with sanitary napkins from the maternity hospital. She realised that the napkins were far more comfortable as compared to using cloth. To know more in detail on how to get the raw material and the production itself, Mrs Idate started working at the bandage factory in the neighbourhood. After a few months at the factory she nailed down a list of a few suppliers. Leaving the factory job, she started the production of the sanitary napkins, initially handmade and later by installing a self designed machine. The Bharati Mahila Audyogik Sahakari Sanstha Limited was registered in 2003. Currently, Mrs Idate's production is limited to the manufacture of napkins to be used by women post delivery. Going ahead, she wants to buy the Mini-Factory from Aakar Innovations that will facilitate the production of sanitary napkins for the use of all the women.

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