Amol Prakash Mane
As per surveys, about 57.6 percent of Indian women use disposable napkins. If a woman uses two pads per day during each period (approximately five days in a month), the total number of pads used each year would be 44.9 billion pads per year. This is a mountain of sanitary waste, and takes 500 years to degrade.
To strengthen women by providing them with a 100 percent medically safe sanitary product, entrepreneur Amol Prakash Mane set up DEA Corp. “The name ‘DEA’ is inspired by my daughter’s name. Through this we are working on an awareness drive to break the taboo and shackles of silence prevailing in Indian society on menstruation,” says Amol, who credits his two sisters as his motivation. The organisation was set up in 2016, but it was only earlier this year that it managed to spearhead a campaign.
Along with his wife and a team of five women, the organisation manufactures menstrual cups that are cost-efficient and minimise risk of infection. It ensures stress-free and an active life, and stays on for up to 10 hours in a day. Menstrual cups are reusable, thereby helping women make their contributions towards the environment.
When asked whether the idea of a menstrual cup would appeal to women in India, he says, “There is a lack of awareness on menstrual cups among the majority of women in India. However, with the awareness drive that we have been undertaking, women from different age groups and occupation are switching over to a menstrual cup. This is the right time to convince them to move to biodegradable products that will tackle the disposable waste issue.”
The idea of the menstrual cup might not directly appeal to the women, but with right menstrual hygiene education the scenario will change, he believes. In Vapi itself, 50 percent of the women have moved to using menstrual cups. “The price of the sanitary pad might look attractive, but in the long run a menstrual cup is more cost-effective. Priced at `2,500, it can be used for up to 10 years. The cup also ensures safety compared to pads as it collects the blood and does not absorb it,” says Amol.
Talking about starting in venture in Vapi, Amol says that there is no dearth of knowledge about menstrual hygiene and products in the metros, but rural parts of the country still lag behind. “Our focus is on spreading awareness in rural areas,” he says. Currently, DEA cups are available online at deacorp.in, in two sizes—for pre and post-pregnancy.