Update 3: Vikram Gandhi, Kiran’s father, also has this on his resume:
Vikram is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, Washington DC, which plays an important role in promoting economic growth, reducing poverty and maintaining global financial stability.”
The Bretton Woods Committee is an annual meeting of the leading figures of the financial world and the world of international policy-marking.
Vikram Gandhi also leads Asha Impact, a non-profit involved in “impact investing,” which is another trendy term for investing in social uplift schemes, where there is a higher risk involved and a longer term horizon for returns.
Update 2: Kiran Gandhi’s father is Vikram Gandhi, an investment banker, whose professional background is described as follows on Wikipedia:
After a successful career in investment banking spanning more than two decades in New York and Hong Kong, he decided to return to India with the desire to actively participate in the development and growth of his country.  He also served as Vice-Chairman at Credit Suisse, Co-Head of Global FIG at Morgan Stanley, Country Head and President of Morgan Stanley India, Founding Member of Harvard University’s South Asia Initiative, Co-founder of The Giving Back Foundation, Board Member at India Inclusive Innovation Fund – a US $1 billion Venture Capital Impact Investment Fund and Board of Director at Grameen Foundation appointed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.
He is also the member of Standing Council of experts to assess and make recommendations regarding the international competitiveness of Indian Financial Sector by Department of Finance, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
Vikram Gandhi and his wife have positioned themselves to profit from the growth in disposable income in the emerging markets.
With their clout in international financial circles, they stand positioned to influence the Indian government’s policies on international financial flows and investment.
There’s free-bleeding here, alright. But it’s not from Kiran Gandhi.
It’s from the Indian economy, the tax-payer (a small and brutalized class in India), small businessmen, and consumers, to Western investors.
“Free-bleeding” is marketing hype and just one more example of MANAGED capitalism at work.
Kiran Gandhi’s mother is Meera Gandhi (who is half Irish). She holds an MBA and is the CEO and founder of the Giving Back Foundation.
Private foundations have long been a favorite tool for the pursuit of long-term financial interests of families, circumventing government taxation and scrutiny.
Gandhi has supported charities with strong female leadership programs and workshops, in part because of the role models in her life: Hillary Clinton, Cherie Blair, and Gandhi’s own mother, an Irish woman living in India. These charities include the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women in the United Kingdom and the Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center in the United States.”
Other charities Gandhi is involved with either directly or through her Foundation include the Happy Home and School for the blind in Mumbai, the Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice & Human Rights, the Cambodian Landmine Relief Fund, Centrepoint, Give to Colombia and The American Friends of Prince William and Prince Harry.
That is the second direct link to the British ruling family (intermarried with the Rothschilds). The first one is Prince Charles’ leadership role in Water Aid, the NGO which was instrumental in making “free tampon distribution” government policy in India.
The Giving Back Foundation lists as its partners and affiliates a powerful group of non-profits (the ones in red are those which struck me the most):
Aid for Aids International; Always Dream Foundation; Asha Dan (Mother Teresa’s homes for orphans); Asha Foundation; Asia Society; AUW (Asian University for Women Bangladesh); Birch Wathen Lenox School (Aids); Bono One/Red (Aids); Boston University (graduate grant programs for travel and work); Brain Trauma Foundation; Brown University; Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Fund; Cancer Patients Aid Association; Centrepoint (Friends of the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry);; Cherie Blair Foundation For Women; Children’s Hope India in New York City; Clinton Global Initiative; Crafts Center; CRY (children’s rights); Donna Karan’s Urban Zen (connects and collaborates in well-being, preserving cultures and inspiring changes); Eleanor Roosevelt Leadership Center (ERLC); FERI (Franklin Eleanor Roosevelt Institute; Foundation Reach and Heal Program; Global Ovarian Cancer; Grameen (microcredit financing); Habitat for Humanity (building homes for the poor); Happy Home and School for the Blind, Mumbai; Harrow School; Hema Dora; Hip Hop Youth Summit Council (bringing back literacy to young people in the Hip Hop culture); Human Rights Watch; I Create (children’s rights); Indian Merchants’ Chamber; Innocence in Danger (for abused children);; Kalashiri School of Arts; Khel Shala Punjab; Kids for Kids in Hong Kong; Kilkenny Day Care Center (Alzheimer’s Disease in Ireland); Lavelle and Co. Girls’ Mentoring;; Lighthouse For The Blind; Loomba Foundation (assisting widows); Mane America; Motor Neuron Disease Association; New York City Ballet; New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (promoting family and education); One To World (Fulbright) (bringing together diverse people); The Play Company; Pratham (program for street children in India); Resolve The National Infertility Association; RFK Center for Human Justice; Royal National Institute of the Deaf, (assisting the deaf in the UK); Same Sky (educating village children in Africa); Scenic Hudson; St. Michael’s Girls Hostel and School, Delhi; Tails of Hope (eradicating diseases affecting companion dogs); Thorntree (education for village children in Kenya); Tiger Time; Tropical Clinics, Kenya; United World Colleges/Pearson School (bringing together diverse students); Vendanta Academy in India; Versailles Foundation; Waterkeeper Alliance; The Wayuu Taya Foundation (educating indigenous tribe in Venezuela; Women’s Education Project; and The Woodstock Film Festival among others.
Following up on my previous post about the Menstrual Meme that’s being pushed by the alternative media, I took a look at the commercial interests behind the scenes.
Which company could be hooked up with the US government back-stage of the Menstrual Meme?
Kiran Gandhi has come out endorsing “Thinx” (which is apparently the brain-child of another Indian-American, Miki Agrawal).
That’s why Gandhi is determined to raise awareness both of period shaming and lack of access to feminine products in developing countries. She’s now partnering with Thinx, a period underwear company that helps women stay dry while on the go, and AfriPads, which makes low-cost, reusable sanitary pads out of Uganda.”
Thinx donates to Afri-Pads for each sale it makes in the US. Both are attempts to compete for the $15 billion a year female hygiene industry:
In Uganda, Canadian Paul Grinvalds and American Sophia Klumpp believed that a reusable menstrual pad could be manufactured locally. The pad could be made to last a year or more with only hand washing, and be affordable to almost all Ugandan girls and women.
Following a pilot project in early 2009, a Dutch private equity investor saw the business and social potential of the idea. The investor, along with several others, provided the necessary capital—and AFRIpads was born. A.T. Kearney has supported the startup on a pro bono basis ever since.
Today, the company operates two factories with a combined staff of 60 employees, mostly rural Ugandan women, and is in talks to ship products in bulk to major nonprofit organizations, including World Vision, War Child Holland, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Rotary International and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). As AFRIpads grows, it plans to build its own distribution network and sell directly to consumers.
The demand for such a product in Africa and across the developing world is undeniable. A recent Credit Suisse economic study finds that 53 percent of the almost 700 million Indian women who earn less than $1,000 per year are likely to spend more money on menstruation hygiene products in the next 12 months, and similar spending trends are expected in China, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
– See more at: https://www.atkearney.com/executive-agenda/full-article/-/asset_publisher/0HoTu01PO8ov/content/how-the-worlds-5-billion-low-income-consumers-decide-what-to-buy/10192?_101_INSTANCE_0HoTu01PO8ov_redirect=%2Fexecutive-agenda%3Fp_p_id%3D122_INSTANCE_jqt57fHXS44U%26p_p_lifecycle%3D0%26p_p_state%3Dnormal%26p_p_mode%3Dview%26p_p_col_id%3Dcolumn-3%26p_p_col_count%3D1%26p_r_p_564233524_resetCur%3Dtrue%26p_r_p_564233524_categoryId%3D267095#sthash.0PoXwdZM.dpuf
In addition, the “free-bleeding” movement has been pushing LunaPads, which makes reusable products for developing countries and also makes Diva Cups, which the media has been pushing through activist blogs.
When you read LunaPads’ site, you notice that Kofi Annan has endorsed them and that they work with NGO’s in dozens of developing nations:
Since its inception, in partnership with dozens of groups, individuals, and NGOs, Lunapads has helped provide over 14,000 girls and women in 17 nations with over 85,000 menstrual pads and/or menstrual underwear, giving them an immediate, essential and sustainable means to remain in school or at work. In addition to working closely with AFRIpads to support our One4Her program, we are also shareholders of AFRIpads, which has supplied over 500,000 girls and women with their reusable sanitary pad kits.
Visit our blog and read the PDFs below to learn more about the impact of out work with Pads4Girls.
UNITED GIRLS OF THE WORLD
In 2014 Pads4Girls joined United Girls of the World, a non-profit society also under Madeleine and Suzanne’s leadership. United Girls has a broader mandate, to assist in the area of critical issues affecting girls and women around the world, empowering them by providing the tools they need to develop positive self-esteem. Please visit the United Girls of the World website to learn about our other programs such as G Day for Girls.
DONATE TO PADS4GIRLS
To help us continue our work with Pads4Girls, please make a donation at the United Girls of the World website.
TAX RECEIPTSIf you are in Canada and would like to receive a Charitable Tax Receipt (for donations greater than CAD$25), please make your donation online at the Tides Canada Foundation. We are unable to issue Charitable Tax Receipts to US donors, unless they are greater than USD$1,000. If you are located in the US and would like to make a donation greater than USD$1,000, please contact us via email to make arrangements.
PADS4GIRLS DISTRIBUTION GROUPS
Pads4Girls has partnered with many different groups over the years to bring washable cloth pads to girls and women in the developing world, including:
OTHER GROUPS & RESOURCES
So a whole network of influential and well-funded NGO’s distributing free reusable tampons in developing countries is behind the “Menstrual Meme”.
As non-profits, these NGOs encourage the public to donate to what they’re doing, the donations being tax-exempt.
At the same time, at least one of them – AfriPads, which calls itself a “social business’ – has “shareholders” (people invested in the outfit) who belong to the company (LunaPads) that is selling products at a profit in the West.
Thus the “non-profit,” “social-service” angle acts as an excellent marketing tool for a Western for-profit company that is competing in the market in Asia and Africa, which is why Kiran Gandhi’s face is on the campaign.
Now, why not, if there is such a market?
Nothing wrong, if these tampon companies were really competing, without the support of a manipulative, possibly intelligence-run campaign, demanding government subsidies and privileged treatment in the Western and Indian market.
Consider that LunaPads claims to be a private outfit, but it’s tied to heavily-subsidized NGO’s and social businesses that are using government and the media to push its interests.
At the same time, the government has been taxing their private competitors (Always and Kotex, for example), as non-essential.
Now these two companies (Always and Kotex) may indeed be making sub-standard products, but that is for the market to decide. The larger companies themselves, J&J in India, for instance, have benefited from private-public partnerships. The newer “green” companies are trying to get in, also in partnership with the governments, NGO’s, and international finance.
There’s also another, bigger problem.
On the other side of the equation, local Indian producers, like Arunachal Muruganathan, who put years into developing a cost-effective sanitary napkin that he sells in India, face subsidized competition from abroad and neglect from their own governments:
Muruganantham seemed set for fame and fortune, but he was not interested in profit. “Imagine, I got patent rights to the only machine in the world to make low-cost sanitary napkins – a hot-cake product,” he says. “Anyone with an MBA would immediately accumulate the maximum money. But I did not want to. Why? Because from childhood I know no human being died because of poverty – everything happens because of ignorance.”
He believes that big business is parasitic, like a mosquito, whereas he prefers the lighter touch, like that of a butterfly. “A butterfly can suck honey from the flower without damaging it,” he says.”
But, it seems when the Indian government, which, like Western governments, is now in the feminine hygiene business, set out to look for a partner, they didn’t pick Muruganantham, even though he won national recognition from the IIT’s (the prestigious technology institutes of the public sector) and from the government itself.
According to P C Vinoj Kumar, a journalist who was until recently working for Tehelka, the two major players in the Indian sanitary napkins market are P&G (who own the Whisper brand) and Johnson & Johnson (who own the Stayfree & Carefree brands). He says that the Government will most likely strike a public private partnership with them or a third player, Kimberly Clark Lever (a JV between Kimberly Clark & Unilever).
“What really ticked me off was when I heard that the Government was providing these napkins at a highly subsidized rate. This would mean that it would buy those napkins at a higher cost from elsewhere. What is the need of that, when my technology provides with a similar product at a cheaper price and at the same time generates a lot of rural employment,” says Muruganatham. Muruganatham laments that the newly announced central government scheme apart from involving a lot of corruption, will effectively kill an innovation that has the potential of providing employment to millions of Indians, especially women.”
How did that happen?
As always, the finger-prints of the Western ruling class can be spotted in the whole business.
The surveys conducted by Unicef with the help of Nielsen India Private Limited and social organisations Vatsalya and Water Aid revealed that over 85% girls used old tattered clothes during menstruation. Almost half of the girls did not even wash the old cloth before using it, while an equal number re-used the cloth several times.”
Checking out Water Aid’s Wikipedia page, I find that it was set up as a charitable trust by none other than the UK’s “water industry.”
The charitable trust structure is the usual – and legal – method whereby private interests can protect themselves from taxation.
Water Aid’s creation was in response to the UN’s Drinking Water & Sanitation decade (1981-1990) and its first president was Prince Charles, from the ruling Windsor family that is intermarried with the Rothschilds.
Water-Aid could not be any more obviously a face of the global world order.
And it is Water-Aid that has promoted the notion that the Indian government should have a program for free tampons.
That seems to explain why the Indian government didn’t partner with a local actor.
[Note: I don’t believe the government should be in the business of feminine hygiene in the first place.]
Likewise, in Africa, the Western NGOs’ are competing against local small businesses that are supplying the market, as well as against the big foreign brands, on which wealthier women have come to depend:
Such projects haven’t been snag-free: Komera found Rwandan women were skeptical about the quality of cheap, locally-produced pads which didn’t look much like the imported brands they knew. Laadli has been excluded from the Indian government’s subsidised pads programme..