In rural India, a majority of women suffer from iodine deficiency. This deficiency is due to the lack of iodine in the soil and food within the subcontinent. It is a serious issue as iodine deficiency can potentially lead to brain damage, child birth defects and several other problems. The usual solution is to make villagers consume iodised salt, which reaches about 91% of Indian households, but that is not enough.
Recently, The Neelvasant Medical Foundation and Research Center (a non profit organisation based in India) along with Grey for Good (an arm of the advertising agency Grey)have been able to medically enhance the common bindi and coat it with iodine. Most married women in rural India wear a bindi or coloured dot on their forehead. This iodine bindi acts like a nicotine patch and releases iodine slowly into the body. As a result women will be able to get their daily consumption of iodine for a very cheap price or even free.