A photographer's journey through Bangladesh's despair and delights

RNW archive

This article is part of the RNW archive. RNW is the former Radio Netherlands Worldwide or Wereldomroep, which was founded as the Dutch international public broadcaster in 1947. In 2011, the Dutch government decided to cut funding and shift RNW from the ministry of Education, Culture and Science to the ministry of Foreign Affairs. More information about RNW Media’s current activities can be found at https://www.rnw.org/about-rnw-media.

On this week's edition South Asia Wired, we feature two men from the Souh Asian region: Shahidul Alam (pictured), the world famous photographer from Bangladesh, and Arunchalam Muruganantham who turned a remarkable women's hygiene invention into a successful social entrepreneurship project.

Listen to this week's program here (or click here):



A photographer on a journey
He's a chemist, a university lecturer and professor, a social activist but most of all - a photographer. Shahidul Alam from Bangladesh recently issued a book of his finest work, titled "My Journey as a Witness", in which daily life and culture in Bangladesh is featured. South Asia Wired met him during his recent visit to Amsterdam to discuss Bangladesh, the book, and the delights of Bangladesh's monsoon season.

Watch a video on Mr Alam's new book here (or click here):



A passion for periods
No, this is not a man who has a passion for anything to do with grammar and punctuation - he's got a passion for what every woman has to go through every month. One day, Arunachalam Muruganantham from India found out that only 10 percent of Indian women use sanitary pads, as they're simply too expensive for the other 90 percent. Awareness regarding female hygiene is lacking in India due to it being a taboo subject.

He decided to invent a machine that manufactures sanitary napkins mechanically. That's not only made the product affordable for millions of India's poor women, but it also offers many a means of employment. You can hear his remarkable story on this week's South Asia Wired.