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SHEROES
20 Jan 2018 . 4 min read

Padman: How Aarav Learns About Periods From His Mother


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From addressing the social issue of menstrual hygiene to Twinkle Khanna openly talking to son Aarav on the subject of menstruation cycle or periods, The Akshay Kumar starrer movie ‘PadMan’ is making some big buzz in the media and public.

Akshay Kumar is once again in the race of setting up social standards and milestones with his upcoming movie “Padman” that talks about the inspiring life of a real-life hero and a social entrepreneur, Arunachalam Muruganantham. The movie is all set to release on January 25, 2018. The movie is produced by Twinkle Khanna, an actress turned writer and producer, under their home banner ‘Mrs. Funnybones productions’. ‘PadMan’ is directed by R. Balki. Akshay Kumar along with Sonam Kapoor and Radhika Apte (as his wife) are amongst the lead actors.

The movie “PadMan” is based on the inspiring story of an entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented low-cost sanitary pads for his wife ‘Shanti’ and the women of his village. It’s about the story of a man, who despite being a school dropout addressed one of the biggest issues of the society. Although, the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham has been highlighted on a number of global platforms including stage and talk shows, blogs, and other social media platforms, however, it will be the first instance when a Bollywood based feature film is being made on the same.

Twinkle Khanna on PadMan:

According to producer Twinkle Khanna, the idea is to highlight the importance of menstrual hygiene and bring awareness in the society that considers menstruation or periods as a forbidden topic. The famed author has also penned Muruganantham’s story ‘The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land,’ in one of her books ‘The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad’.

Twinkle Khanna talking about Menstruation

During an interview with IANS, Twinkle Khanna quoted that - 

“The only reason that I decided to produce this movie after writing a fictionalized story about Arunachalam Muruganantham was that I felt it was an important story that needed to penetrate households across India. Cinema is the only medium that has such a wide reach”.

Twinkle shared that she was instantly gripped by the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham on two levels:

  • Because the story was about menstruation.
  • Because it was a story about a person who lost his family, persevered against all odds, got ostracized from the community. Yet, he didn’t quit.

She added that the movie intends to lessen the burden of shame that is gratuitously attached to periods in our country.

Akshay Kumar on PadMan:

Akshay Kumar, who portrays the character of Arunachalam Muruganantham in the movie “PadMan” believes that the society needs to change their perspective to eradicate such taboos. He is confident that the movie will be able to leave a strong impact on people.

Akshay Kumar in Padman - Movie about Sanitary Napkins

He additionally stated that -

“Around 82% of the women in India are either unaware or don’t have access to the sanitary pads and if the movie is able to reduce the number by even a small 5% then it will be a big victory for us.”

The renowned actor told Business Insider that the entertainment industry can normalize verboten subjects in a manner that no other medium can possibly do.

Twinkle Khanna talking about periods with her son Aarav:

On being asked whether they discuss such matters in their own home or if their son Aarav is aware of the same, the parents replied – “As responsible parents, we have ensured that Aarav knows everything about periods”.

The doting mother explained that menstruation is not a taboo subject in their home and Aarav is well aware of not only menstruation but also about the upcoming movie. “We want parents to watch the movie with their daughters, young couples to watch it together and we want people to talk about menstruation as normally as possible,” said Twinkle.

Akshay added -

"Twinkle has told everything about periods to son Aarav. Nothing is hidden in our family. We don't live double-faced lives. We have kept it very open."

In a few words:

Across the globe, countless females from low-income families don’t have the money and means to buy a sanitary pad or tampon. Consequently, most of them end up dropping out of school. Hopefully, with a movie like ‘PadMan’, the Central Government will consider levying the unwarranted 12% GST on sanitary pads, making menstrual hygiene a reality for women from all walks of life.

In a country where topics like menstrual hygiene and sanitation are treated as a hush-hush topic, this movie is certainly aimed to bring out the awareness in people. Using cinema to highlight such topics is the right way to generate the long overdue awareness.


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