Nagamma lives in ruralIndia. She has a cell phone with more than 200 songs on it, and yet just three years ago whenever she got her period, she sat on hay – that’s right hay – and simply waited. Nagamma’s story is just one of many that inspired filmmaker Chithra Jeyaram to make a short documentary on sanitary hygiene in her home country. That 3-minute film, Rags to Pads, tells the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a school dropout who – in trying to create a low-cost sanitary napkin for his wife – developed a machine capable of giving millions of women access to better lives. Jeyaram’s film was a semifinalist in the $200,000 Focus Forward competition and has shed much-needed light on the fact that only 20% of the female population in India uses sanitary napkins. Below Jeyaram shares her thoughts on why she chose to speak out on this issue, the man who is revolutionizing his country, and why sanitation has become the new social issue.