Plans are underway to install these machines in every property owned by Sathyam Cinemas across the country.

Chennais Sathyam Cinemas installs vending machines that dispense pads for free
news Menstruation Saturday, February 10, 2018 - 17:34

Inspired by Bollywood movie Padman, Chennai-based SPI Cinemas, popularly known as Sathyam Cinemas, has announced that they are installing free sanitary napkin vending machines across all their properties.

The first machine has been set up at the women's restroom on the ground floor at Sathyam Cinemas. Plans to install more such machines across all their sites over the following weeks are underway.

"As a society, we're a little late in having this important conversation, but nevertheless it's happening now. We just want to make sure that we do our bit to be there for our customers," Bhavesh Shah, Head of Experience, SPI Cinemas, said.

SPI Cinemas runs 52 screens in Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, Warangal, Nellore, Puducherry, Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai.

In its initiative, SPI also got help from V Ramachandran, CEO of Glo Life Care, who was instrumental in developing the technology behind this vending machine.

"Over 3 decades back, I came across an article in the papers, in the letters to the editor column, written by a lady traveller about how she was stranded at the Chennai airport for want of a sanitary pad to meet her unprepared and unexpected menstrual emergency. This immediately sparked in me the need to develop a vending machine for sanitary napkins," Ramachandran said.

Padman is a Bollywood movie inspired by the life of Arunchalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who revolutionized the concept of personal hygiene during menstrual cycle in rural India by creating low-cost sanitary pads.

Directed by R Balki, the film stars Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor in leading roles. It has been produced by KriArj Entertainment, Mrs. Funnybones Movies, Hope Productions and Columbia Pictures.

Muruganantham wanted to provide a clean, low-cost sanitary pad for his wife after discovering that she used dirty unhygienic rags. He started by making indigenous pads and asked his wife and sisters to use it to see if they were effective. However, they refused after a few trials.

He then decided to wear the sanitary napkins himself. He went around with a pad in his underwear and a bottle filled with animal blood, which would squeeze out the blood on to the pad at regular intervals.  After 2 years of research, Muruganantham figured out how to procure the exact material he needed and the process to manufacture a good quality sanitary pad at home.

Muruganantham’s low-cost sanitary pad making machines are now sold across India and are even being procured internationally. In 2014, Time magazine featured him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world.