Women in the red light

We bring you some inspiring stories of women in the red light – sex workers and daughters, who have gone beyond to live their dreams and ambitions.

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Entrepreneur-mother of two daughters speaks about shift from toxic to safe Motherhood | Mother’s Day

Exercise, go to the gym. You can even do smaller activities like walking, cooking, the idea is to spare some time just doing just for you.

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Sarah Kashyap: Chasing Her Dreams On Wheels

Sarah Kashyap has broken stereotypes and carved a name for herself in an essentially male-dominated sport. Traveling on a bike. She says, “Motorsport is an expensive affair. It costs about 2 lakh rupees on an average on the preparation, commute, and accommodation. I did what I had to.” She says, “Motorcycling is a great sport for women as it requires a lot of discipline and fearlessness.”

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Story of a Kristin, a woman on a mission to solve Indian women’s sanitary needs, eco-friendly way

This post is a part of Neer, a collaborative project by DCB Bank and Chaaipani to bring out stories of individuals and initiatives that are working hard and smart to save water.

Menstruation in India, is hands down, still a taboo. While that’s a shocking reason as to why someone should limit themselves to contribute to the society, reports suggests that around 23% of girls drop out from school after they start menstruating. 70% of women in India say their family can’t afford to buy them sanitary napkins, making 88% of the women resort to shocking alternatives like unhygienic cloth, ashes and husk sand.

With an extraordinary vision to solve this pressing healthcare problem and at the same time save the environment, Saathi was introduced by Kristin Kagetsu, Amrita Saigal, Grace Kane and Zach Rose. We met Kristin at Maker Fest and were surprised with the depth of the otherwise usual rant about hygiene lethargy in our country.

Kristin was born and brought up in New York City.

“My parents studied STEM in college and went on to have careers in healthcare. They inspired me to be interested in problem solving and learning to be resourceful.”

A curious kid, Kristin aspired to go to NASA and build Mars rovers.

“And then, I got involved in DLab at MIT where I learned about co-creation and appropriate technology. I visited India in 2012 and was working with Avani, an NGO in Uttarakhand on a project to create natural dye crayons. I went back to US and joined a big software/hardware company but something was missing.  Something about India convinced me to come back and serve it better. I wanted to create an impact in people’s lives, I wanted to solve a real, pressing problem.”

Kristin met her co-founders – Amrita, Grace & Zach and was fascinated by the idea of Saathi.

“Product development and sustainability interested me. The idea of Saathi was born during Amrita and Zach’s senior design class at MIT. They were brainstorming on the idea of creating low-cost sanitary napkins for women in rural India. It was challenging and hence, it fascinated me.”

However, during the course of development, the concept was tweaked a bit, all for the better.

“We realised that low-cost sanitary pads doesn’t mean that we have addressed the entire lifecycle of the product, solving one problem was leading to other. So we came up with the idea of creating eco-friendly sanitary pads at affordable rates.”

With 88% of women  in India who do not have access to sanitary pads, India still produces 9000 tons of sanitary waste every month. The pads in the industry use plastic and ‘super absorbents’ which end up doing more harm to the environment.

Only 12% of women in India have access to sanitary pads. And that’s a small very small number. Even then every month, 9000 tonnes of sanitary waste is produced.Saathi Pads, Sanitary, Indian women, Women Health, Women hygiene, Sanitary Napkins, Eco-friendly sanitary napkin sanitary pad available right now, across all categories use the same basic ‘Super absorbent’ materials and chemicals in these pads make them the environment’s worst nightmare.


The team came up with several ideas while deciding what they wanted to make and one clicked.

“We realised that banana fibres are good absorbents and usually treated as waste by farmers. With our model, we also create an additional source of income for these farmers. We are also looking at engaging women in rural and urban sets with our idea”

Saathi sources banana fibres from a banana plantation belt near Ahmedabad.

“Saathi was everything that I was passionate about woven together in one – engineering, sustainable product development, empowering women, and expanding it as a social enterprise.”

Talking of her first yay moment with Saathi, Kristin says,

“It was amazing to see the first prototype that looked like commercial pads! We are now looking to launch the product on the market very soon (we are taking pre-orders now!) and set up a manufacturing plant.”


4 months ago No Comments Views

On International Women’s Day, we bring you stories 5 inspiring women who didn’t settle and are writing their own life stories!

At Chaaipani, we have had the pleasure to meet and write about some amazing women in the past couple of years. So this women’s day I’d like to celebrate their achievements, their dream of an equal society, and their efforts towards affecting not just their lives but lives of everyone around them.

4 months ago 1 Comment Views

Meet Sonia, a stay-at-home working mom clocking company revenues in millions!

“Sometimes when I am on a call with my clients and my daughter calls out for me, of course, they hear her voice and ask me, ‘Are you working from home or have you brought your daughter to work?’ It leaves them wondering because they never realized a stay-at-home-mom was running the organization.”

4 months ago 1 Comment Views

Meet this Delhi girl who is kicking patriarchy in sports, one game at a time! | Tanvie Hans

In 2013 after returning to London she made it to three club’s open trials that she had applied for. She got into Tottenham Hotspurs Women’s FC. The competition was massive indeed and she continued to strive hard. Tanvie Hans is a forward and plays multiple offensive positions.

5 months ago 1 Comment Views

Preeti Shenoy – मज़बूत होने का मंत्र सिखाते हैं मेरे किरदार …क्योंकि हर कदम एक नई जंग है।

महिलाओं का जीवन बहुत खूबसूरत है। बशर्ते उन्हें खुलकर जीने दिया जाए। यह उनके हित और हक़ दोनो के लिहाज़ से उचित है। जब दुनियां में ऐसा होता नहीं देखती हूं तो इस व्यवस्था को अपने लेखन में उतार देती हूं। मेरा हर वुमन केरेक्टर ज़िंदगी ख़ुद की शर्तों पर जीता है। – प्रीति शिनॉय

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कभी-कभी सिर्फ एक हां पूरा जीवन बदल देती है – अनुराधा पौडवाल से चायपानी पर चर्चा | Anuradha Paudwal

मेरे लिए तो खज़ाना हाथ लग जाने जैसा था। जब मैं रिकॉर्डिंग करने पहुंची तो दादा ने लाइव सुना और खुश होते हुए बोले – क्यों ना श्लोक तुम्हीं से गवा लिया जाए। बर्मन दादा की एक हां ने मेरे ज़िंदगी बदल कर रख दी।

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This earthquake survivor from Gujarat shares her story after sixteen years. And it is so inspiring!!

They decided to amputate my right hand but again there was a problem as the doctor said that he won’t be able to give anesthesia to me and would have to cut the hand without giving any local anesthesia. I said go ahead I will bear the pain but just take me out. And the next thing I saw was a team of doctors and rescue team tied a tightrope on my hand and amputated my hand with a big knife and I can’t even express the pain I went through.

5 months ago 1 Comment Views
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