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Ajinkya tackles the mammoth task of sanitary waste disposal in innovative and sustainable ways

Ajinkya Dhariya was always impressed and inspired by the Prime Minister’s National Initiative of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Academically a mechanical engineer, he always showed a scientific bent of mind, alongside an eye for innovation. As a result, he readily took up the challenge of waste disposal via innovative means. The challenge was as enormous as the issue itself and taboo attached with it amongst Indian communities. However, despite the apparent perspective, Ajinkya realized the importance of safe disposal of menstrual waste and decided to deal with the impending issue. This culminated in him founding PadCare Labs that deals directly with menstruation-related waste management, stigma and taboo. Apart from empowering the future of hygiene, he also aimed at providing a dignified life to sanitary workers.

After receiving a grant under the Biotechnology Department of the Government of India, Ajinkya brought together a team of 13 individuals to support his cause and company. Ajinkya, a young changemaker from Pune, Maharashtra, with a work experience of 5 years, went on to become the Founder and CEO of Padcare Labs, a tech-based intervention to dispose used sanitary napkins through sustainable green technology. The tech-savvy intervention based on the 5Ds i.e., Disinfection, Deodorization, Decolorization, Disintegration and Deactivation of absorbent provides an unprecedented hygiene management solution to generate harmless and recyclable products out of soiled pads. 

 

As a contender for Plan India Impact Awards 2021, Ajinkya won the Young Changemaker (Male) Award for his innovative and impact driven initiative. He was able to bring in the sustainability factor by creating plant pots out of the UV converted ash raised from the sanitary waste. Moreover, the beneficiaries were relieved to find his intervention was not only environment-friendly but also addressed various social issues such as unsafe disposal of sanitary waste, menstruation related stigma and taboo, providing dignity to the life of sanitary workers.

The pandemic and the associated lock-downs brought in its own set of challenges. Despite the hurdles, Ajinkya took it as an opportunity to develop a UV base disinfection system for inanimate objects. After rigorous testing and pilots, he got this system deployed at hospitals and various corporate offices. This timely innovation has been helping 250 doctors on daily basis in India. By installing 250 machines, his intervention is serving more than 5000 young girls and women, and 10+ sanitary workers/ waste pickers on a daily basis. Around 1500+ soiled pads have been disposed and recycled in the last 6 months and saved 2 metric tons of carbon from getting released. By incentivizing daily pickers, Ajinkya has also started his operations on a household basis.

Ajinkya is busy pursuing his dream for sustainable society with his 3P’s, those are passion, perseverance, and persistence. These qualities are well reflected in his practical innovations as well. He efforts towards sanitary napkin disposal in India, with his practical and actionable green-tech innovations have been recognized by WIPO, TBC, WSSCC, UnLTD India and Government of India as well.

 

Author

Shilpa Tiwari

Shilpa Tiwari is a New Delhi based Content Specialist with three decades of experience. She has worked extensively on a variety of researches and curricula across K12, Higher Education, Corporate and Social Development sectors. A Master’s degree in English Literature and a degree in French from Delhi University, alongwith International Business Programme from IIFT, most certainly provides Shilpa an added expertise to work as a Consultant on various research and consulting projects with Corporates, Educational Institutions, Publications, CSR Foundations and NGOs.