Saathi Named Action Lab Partner by Asia 21 Class of 2016

(L-R) Sanjeev Sherchan, Executive Director of Global Initiatives, Asia Society; Tom Nagorski, EVP, Asia Society; Kristin Kagetsu, Co-Founder & CEO, Saathi; Dr. Avinesh Bhar, Asia 21 Young Leader Class of 2016

(L-R) Sanjeev Sherchan, Executive Director of Global Initiatives, Asia Society; Tom Nagorski, EVP, Asia Society; Kristin Kagetsu, Co-Founder & CEO, Saathi; Dr. Avinesh Bhar, Asia 21 Young Leader Class of 2016

by Kathryn Cardenas

Seoul, December 10, 2016 - In recognition for their outstanding work in providing sustainable sanitary solutions to women’s health and the environment—Saathi was named the 2016 Asia 21 Action Lab Partner. Kristin Kagetsu, Co-Founder and CEO of Saathi, accepted the award during the ceremonies last December 10th at the Asia 21 Young Leaders Summit in Seoul, South Korea.

Saathi is a social enterprise that manufactures India’s first fully biodegradable sanitary pad made from banana tree fiber. Saathi pads are sustainable, highly-absorbent, non-toxic, and accessible feminine hygiene product to women in rural areas. Lack of access to sanitary pads is the leading reason for high dropout rates of school-aged girls in India. Saathi believes that women deserve the option to use sanitary protection that meets their needs and protects the environment, and having high quality sanitary pads will allow girls in India to stay in school and get the education they need. Saathi also believes in taking a fully cradle-to-cradle approach to women’s menstrual health, which benefits women and their communities at every step in the process. With Saathi pads, they are also able to provide additional income to banana tree farmers.

The 2016 Asia 21 Action Lab partnership is given to an organization that has made an outstanding contribution in reaching underprivileged social and economic groups by providing meaningful service to a community and the public in the region. The partnership consists of a grant in the amount of US$10,000 generously provided by Ek Disha Foundation, along with continued active support of the Asia 21 Young Leaders Class of 2016, as well as access to the Asia 21 Young Leaders’ network for program development and help to replicate the models of successful projects.

Now in its eleventh year, the Asia 21 Young Leaders Initiative is widely recognized as the Asia-Pacific’s most important transnational and cross-sectorial network of next-generation leaders. It brings together the region’s most dynamic young leaders to identify imaginative ways to address Asia’s most pressing issues and develop approaches to solving global challenges. The Initiative selects leaders from business, politics, civil society, media, arts & culture, and academia, and it has now incorporated leaders not only from all major countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The program brings together approximately 100 young leaders with diverse backgrounds from across Asia and the United States to deliberate on a wide-ranging agenda. Together they will develop imaginative ways to address Asia’s most pressing issues.

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Asia 21 Action Lab