Two students—Niveda R and Gowtham S—who are presently pursuing a course in fashion technology at Kumaraguru College of Technology (KCT) here have bagged the Chhatra Vishwakarma Award and India Innovation Initiative (i3) 2017 for making eco-friendly sanitary napkins using Kenaf fibre.

The plant, which is grown in 12 States across the country, was raised in an area of 11 cents at KCT campus as well.

“It was first done for trial purpose as we learnt that the plant helps reduce green house gas.In the process we found that the plant requires very little water and fertilisers for cultivation. Further, the plant had good absorbing tendency, natural anti-microbial properties and resistance to mildew and rot,” a KCT release said.

To improve the application of Kenaf fibre, the duo extracted it from the plant and produced sanitary napkins that are completely degradable and eco-friendly.

This caught the attention of the powers that be, and the eco-innovators topped in ranking for the Chhatra Vishwakarma Award under biotechnology stream.

India Innovation Initiative or i3 is promoted jointly by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Department of Science and Technology and the All India Council for Technical Education to identify, reward and recognise top innovators across the country, and help them commercialise best home grown innovations through incubation support, mentorship, investor and industry connect.

The student innovators walked away with a cash prize of ₹75000, i3–Icreate Award and i3-SIDBI Start-UP Mitra award.