The Women of INDIA – Lakshmi Menon

In a valiant attempt to battle the scourge of plastic and the menace of disposable pens in particular, Lakshmi Menon set up PURE Living (Products Up-cycled Recycled and Economised), a Kerala-based social enterprise that makes disposable pens from paper, each one having a seed inside that can grow into a tree when disposed of. Not just a clever idea but this social enterprise, employs elderly and differently abled women and upcycles paper waste from printing presses, it’s a win win all round!

1.Who you are ?

A person born with a happy gene who loves and celebrates  life , it’s colours, designs and who strives hard to bring in creative solutions to social problems.

  1. What inspired you to create your business?

My firm belief that if you are not part of the solution, then by default you are part of the problem. Hence started the social enterprise called Pure Living to address certain social issues.

  1. An anecdote which epitomises your India?

InDia – The land with Dia (lamp,light) in it. Literally with the power to light up other nations with our wisdom and experience.

  1. One thing that you can’t live without?


  1. One thing that you hate?

Unaccountability, of those in power as well as citizens.

  1. If you could change one thing about India what would it be?


  1. Who is your greatest inspiration?

My father – late Mr. P.K Narayanan

  1. What is your favourite quote?

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

  1. I have noticed huge changes in India over the last few years but what is the biggest change you have noticed in India over the last 10 years?

The impact of technology changing lives, even in rural areas.

  1. What do you think are the biggest challenges India faces over the next ten years?

Irresponsible exploitation of natural resources and a leadership which is not bothered of conserving it.

  1. Which is the destination at the top of your bucket list?

No destination in particular. Eager and happy to travel always and to anywhere since I’m more excited about the journey than the destination.

  1. What is the one place you visited that you have no desire to return to?

There is no such place yet, every place had its good side too.

  1. Book or Movie?

Several Malayalam movies.

  1. Just for fun, I am doing a survey to find India’s most popular breakfast, what is yours?

Idly and chutney.

  1. In retrospect, what is the one thing you wish you could have told your 20 year old self?

Nothing, because there isn’t anything that I would do differently now from what I have done at my 20’s.

Thank you.

You can find more about Lakshmi’s initiatives here:


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