The All Natural Lice Treatment
After travelling through seemingly endless rice paddies, I finally reached Pandiammal’s village of Devadhanam, about 35 kilometers outside of Trichy, Tamil Nadu. Being the fastest vehicle on the road of buses, ox-carts, and motorcycles was both exhilarating and frightening, as each time we swerved into the opposite lane to pass the person in front of us we seemed to avoid oncoming traffic by mere centimeters. We parked the jeep next to a small temple and proceeded to walk to the end of a street lined with houses that had staircases protruding so far into the street that it could only accommodate two-wheeled vehicles. After walking through gazes of curious mothers and children, I finally reached Pandiammal’s house at the end of the street. Pandiammal welcomed me into her immaculately kept sitting room, which offered an escape from the almost unbearable heat. Her daughter and a few neighbors were also in the house, and asked me if I wanted a drink to cool me down, which meant that they said, “cool drink?” with their palms facing up. I accepted, and happily sipped on a cold mango juice during our conversation.Pandiammal received her Milaap loan to buy raw materials for her business selling lice-treatment medication. I asked her about her business and she dove into the intricacies of the product, telling me about how you mix it into coconut oil, let it sit for three days, then apply to the hair after bathing. She then showed me what the coconut oil looked like after soaking the medicine for a few days. It was a deep clear purple, similar in appearance and viscosity to a cough medicine.Pandiammal buys the medication in bulk via mail from Madurai, and then sells it from her house. Most of her customers are neighbors, relatives, and friends.She sells about 10 packets a day for Rs.20 each, netting a profit of Rs.5 per packet. Each packet is enough for roughly 15 uses, so depending on how successful the treatment is, the customer can sometimes treat multiple outbreaks with one packet. Pandiammal used her loan to buy larger quantities of lice medication, and never has to turn customers away due to a shortage of supplies. She seems very happy with her family, and her business is running smoothly.You can also help women like her to fulfill their dreams.