Affiliations & Roles
Co-Director, Amrita SeRVe
Anju Bist is co-director of Amrita SeRVe, and has been a key actor in the organization training women to make reusable menstrual pads from banana fiber. This work was inspired as a method to cut down on waste and the immense impact disposable pads has on the environment. Disposable pads are often produced from cellulose fiber, a driver of deforestation, and create waste impacts equivalent to 4 plastic bags per each disposable pad used. By developing the Saukhyam Reusable Pad, Anju and her organization have reached about 4000 women who have switched to the reusable product and estimated that with every 1000 users, 35,226,360 plastic bags have been saved from being used and discarded into landfills. Additionally, the reusable pad was awarded the most innovative product by the National Institute of Rural Development. Indian news media (Times of India and The Hindu) has referred to Anju as the Padwoman of India. Their proposal to reach out to 50,000 girls and women over a 2-year period with reusable pads has been recently shortlisted by DFAT-BPP as one of four initiatives in India they are interested in funding.