On a trip to the state of Andhra Pradesh in 2011, Miniya Chatterji, an Indian-born former hedge fund manager, was shocked by the sorry state of the community centers for women’s health built by the government in the 1970s. With funding from RLabs, a South African nonprofit, she launched a program to renovate some of the centers and use them as a home for her vending machines.
The products are basic but crucial: multivitamins, sanitary napkins, and condoms. Why vitamins? Because they don’t require a prescription but can help with a major health problem: anemia in pregnant women. Almost 60 pregnant of pregnant women in India suffer from anemia.
Stargazers has so far installed machines in four community centers and says around 80 women are using them each day.
*Image of “young lady” via Shutterstock