Ajinkya Dhariya is a mechanical engineer and social entrepreneur who is on a mission to solve the problem of menstrual waste disposal and recycling in India and beyond. He is the founder and CEO of Padcare Labs, a health-tech startup that has developed a device that can collect, sanitize, and recycle used sanitary pads in a safe and eco-friendly way.

Dhariya's journey began in 2018, when he witnessed a disturbing sight of used pads hanging from a tree during a weekend trip with his friends. He was shocked to learn that most of the used pads in India end up in landfills, where they take hundreds of years to decompose, posing a threat to the environment, the health of women, and the dignity of waste pickers. He decided to create a solution that would protect all these stakeholders and promote sustainable sanitation practices.

He founded Padcare Labs with a vision to shape sustainable societies by enhancing hygiene standards. He assembled a team of young and passionate engineers, designers, and researchers, and developed a device that can process up to 1,500 pads a day, and turn them into recyclable materials such as plastic pellets. The device is installed in public washrooms, where women can dispose of their pads in a hygienic and convenient way. The device also generates data on menstrual health and hygiene, which can be used for research and awareness purposes.

Padcare Labs has won several awards and recognition for its innovative and impactful work, such as the FICCI-ISC Award 2020, Forbes 30 under 30 in Asia, and Toilet Board Coalition 2019. The startup has also received funding and support from various incubators and investors, such as Venture Center, Total, and NASSCOM. Padcare Labs is currently operating in Pune, Mumbai, and Delhi, and plans to expand to other cities and countries in the near future.

Under Ajinkya Dharia's leadership, PadCare has undertaken an aggressive campaign to promote the sustainable management of sanitary pads, addressing two critical issues simultaneously—efficient sanitary waste disposal and reduction of carbon emissions. With an impressive track record of recycling over 240 lakh pads annually, PadCare's innovative 5D treatment—comprising Disinfection, Deodorization, Disintegration, and Deactivation—has played a pivotal role in saving up to 4.2 million kg CO2eq emissions.

Ajinkya Dhariya is an inspiration for many young entrepreneurs who want to make a positive difference in the world. He believes that menstrual waste is not a problem, but an opportunity to create value and empower women. He hopes that his device will not only reduce the environmental impact of menstrual waste but also improve the quality of life and dignity of millions of women and girls who face challenges and stigma related to menstruation.