Padman – A Mad Superhero with a Powerful Social Message
Around the world, many low-income women and girls do not have access to sanitary pads or tampons. Many miss or even drop out of school, stunting economic opportunities down the line and reinforcing taboos around menstruation.
Even in some places of Nepal, women cannot be in their own homes during their period or women can be in the house, but not in the kitchen and worship room and also not allowed to attend religious festivals. They are also not allowed to touch other people especially male members of the family. (Women becomes untouchable). In addition to these problems, girls also face poor hygiene due to poor accessibility of proper sanitary kits.
Sanitary pads are not only inaccessible but also expensive to buy every month for a poor family in rural village in Nepal. Even if a store is nearby to them, it is difficult for girls to go and buy the pads since girls have the fear of being shamed.
Menstrual cycle is one of the major barriers to girls’ education in Nepal.
In Bollywood there is an upcoming movie with the powerful social message. In this movie Akshay Kumar (One of the most famous actors in Bollywood), plays the role of social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham in the movie “Padman” which is inspired by a true story. Before this, he had also played movies like Toilet Ek Prem Katha with social messages.
Muruganantham also is known as “India’s Menstrual Man” who invented a machine that could produce a very low-cost sanitary pad for women and girls in the early 2000s which was very less than a third of the price of ones by commercial brands. In his real life he decided to try the sanitary pads on himself by making a uterus out of football bladder and filling goat’s blood in it and roam ed around the whole day with the bladder, the aim was to check the absorption rate of the sanitary napkins made by him.
It can be a powerful way to turn the tide on taboos.
Twinkle Khanna, who is married to Kumar and serves as one of the film’s producers, said that “Padman” is a story about an innovation that improved the lives of women.
“Padman” is set to release worldwide on February 9, 2018. Previously it was going to release on 26th Jan, due to clash with Padmaavat the Padman movie team postponed it to 9th of Feb.
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