Maya Vishwakarma hailing from the Narsinghpur district of Madhya Pradesh has never heard of sanitary napkins untill she was 26 years. Her parents are agricultural labourers who had to struggle to for daily earnings. Inspite of their hardship they never forced Maya to stop her education or marry someone.
It was the support of her parents that Maya pursued her post-graduate in biochemistry from a university of Jabalpur. Later she started as a cancer researcher on subject Leukemia from AIIMS, Delhi and then headed to California for further research. It was the time when Maya felt the need of menstrual education which should be provided to women in India.
She left the California, landed back on India and started the “Sukarma Foundation”. Now Maya visits women all over the India, creating an awareness about the importance of using sanitary napkins and breaking the myths about menstruation. She especially focus on rural areas as these are still untouched.
Apart from these, Sukarma Foundation also manufactures sanitary napkins at a very cheap rate, which is easily affordable in India.
In the two years of her foundation, she has touched the lives of more than 2,000 women. Talking about her work to The New Indian Express, she told,
The money for the machine and the unit was sourced through crowdfunding, personal savings and from friends working abroad for the California and India chapter of the Sukarma Foundation founded by me. It was while scouting for the best and cost-efficient machinery for producing sanitary pads that I met the real ‘Padman’ (Muruganatham) two years ago and saw the machine being used by him.