Mashelkar Foundation



Bhawana Chanana

For 'low cost diapers for the elderly'

The Problem

With the cost of a branded diaper being as prohibitively expensive as INR 45 to 80 each, elders especially in the middle to low income categories are left without options. The price bracket converts these basic hygiene products into luxury items!

The Motivation

After completing her doctoral research work on ‘low cost sanitary napkins’, Dr. Bhawana Chanana worked closely with the Government’s Department of Science & Technology to set-up units and carry out trainings with women of rural and peri-urban areas for manufacturing of low-cost brand of quality sanitary napkins. Having worked closely with the elderly and during her visits to hospitals and old-age homes, she realized that urinary incontinence is a real concern that often goes neglected.

The Inclusive Innovation

Bhawana developed a diaper using indigenously available raw material – virgin waste from cotton knitwear fabrics and agro-residue like bagasse. Thanks to readily available material as well as technology, these low cost diapers were developed at only 25% the cost of a branded diaper. This innovation significantly reduced skin irritation that normally leads to formation of bedsores and also reduced the risk of mishaps due to involuntarily leakage of urine from the bladder in the elderly. Bhawana’s other innovation is Suvidha, a low-cost brand of quality sanitary napkins made of cotton knitwear.


Bhawana Chanana

Bhawana Chanana has worked as Associate Professor, Fabric and Apparel Science (FAS) Lady Irwin College, Delhi University. She has a keen interest in fabric science, especially for hygiene applications.