Maya Vishwakarma is the founder and chairperson of Sukarma Foundation. She is also known as “PADWOMAN OF INDIA”.
Maya has been incessantly conducting field research on “Menstrual Hygiene for rural and tribal girls/women” over the last two years. She visited startups that are making sanitary napkins as well as machines to manufacture the pads. She also met PADMAN Arunachalam Murganatham at his hometown of Coimbatore, India. Deeply inspired by his work and remarkable achievements in his home state, she researched few more startups in India that make affordable sanitary napkins and pad-making machines. Sukarma Foundation established a mini factory in 2017 to make sanitary napkins in Narsinghpur district, which is providing employment to the women and raising menstruation awareness. The objective of this project is to protect tribal and rural girls/women from infections such as RTIs (Reproductive Tract Infections), UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections) and Cervical Cancer by educating them about menstrual hygiene, which is being fulfilled by providing clean hygienic and low-cost sanitary pads to them.
A native of Mehragaon village in district Narsinghpur, Madhya Pradesh (MP), India, Maya has been living in San Francisco, California (USA) for nearly a decade. After completing high school from her village, she went to Jabalpur RDVV University for her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Biochemistry. Her Master’s thesis dissertation work at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi focused on Nuclear Medicine. Later, she finished her Junior Research Fellowship (JRF) in similar areas.
She moved to the United States to pursue her PhD program in Chemical and Biological Engineering from SDSMT (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology). She dropped out from her PhD and moved to San Francisco Bay Area to pursue her career in Cancer Biology at UCSF hospital.