Akshay Kumar film, Padman is all set to release on Feb 9. The movie talks about 'The Sanitary Man of Sacred Land', which is inspired from the life of Arunachalam Murugunantham, a Tamil Nadu-based social activist who revolutionized the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India and invented low-cost sanitary pads.
With the film, Akshay Kumar along with the makers (Prernaa Arora from KriArj Entertainment and Twinkle Khanna) aim to bring about a change in the society and eliminate taboos associated with menstruation. Here are the Television divas talking about menstruation taboos and Akshay's idea of Padman...
Tejaswi Prakash Wayangankar
"The creation of menstrual taboos took place independently and repeatedly across different peoples and geographies. But I and many other educated and brave girls don't agree to it but have a question, why this happened?"
"I feel lucky, my mom have educated me properly about the same. It's just natural phenomenon every female experience. It's a blessing not punishment. I have never believed or followed any limitations during my days. It's like any other day."
"But sad to learn how many girls are limited at times. I am happy that Akshay Kumar came up with such a movie which will educate people and may change the minds who think it to be a taboo."
"Menstrual cycle is a natural process intrinsically linked with a woman's body. Still many consider it to be a taboo and follow restrictions during menstrual cycles- whether it's in our homes, relatives' homes or at any religious event. My mom taught me how to be careful during these days, that's all."
"But I have read about girls in many cultures, the menstrual cycle was seen as a gift and when a girl would menstruate for the first time, it would be celebrated in public. But this again is a problematic view as the menstrual cycle was seen as a boon for reproduction."
"Even when people celebrated it, they had a reductionist view that a woman's ultimate goal in life is reproduction. I'm thankful that Akshay Kumar thought of making a film on an important topic to educate society. In today's date it was really important."
"We can't call ourselves educated if even in 2018, we term something as natural as periods to be a taboo. First of all people need to understand that it's because of periods that we all were born. Biologically, if a woman doesn't get periods, she can't give birth. So, it's illogical to term it a taboo or something dirty."
"I refuse to follow anything which doesn't make sense to me and stand by it- be it going to temples during periods, entering kitchen or going out to play. I have done it all and never ever believed in anything which was not scientific."
"Definitely Padman has a potential to bring about a change in our society in terms of how we think of periods, as movies are a mirror to the society and showing mirror at times helps in correcting ourselves. I wish after watching Padman, people can stop being abnormal around conversations regarding women's menstrual health."
"Social and cultural norms create some pretty bizarre trends. The aforementioned trends are beauty related, but there are various cultural perceptions all over the world when it comes to women's periods. Some cultural beliefs regarding periods are not just weird. They can also bar women from education, jobs, and overall equality."
"It's really not taboo and society needs to understand it. Luckily I wasn't a victim to it as my mother is well educated and so my mother taught me to stay hygienic during periods and rest happens to be like any other day."
"I am happy that Akshay Kumar came up with idea which will not only bring end to nonsense myth about periods but will also educate country to be hygienic. Looking ahead to watch Padman."
"Everything have its own solution, it is just depend on us how we want to take periods as a taboo or boon. We can never judge any other women by its energy level that she is right now on her periods or not. We are always at our best. Well yes definitely Padman movie, will bring change in society."
"It is tough but not impossible. As it is quite obvious for all of us that Indian population will never change their thought process by just watching movies. But movies like Padman gives awareness to women and men both in rural areas as women in metro cities are more open up on this."
"Menstruation stigma is a form of misogyny. Negative taboos condition us to understand menstrual function as something to be hidden, something shameful. And by not naming a thing, we reinforce the idea that the thing should not be named."
"But have periods always needed code words? Where did these words come from, and how did they come about? Were periods always considered a negative experience? I have grown-up in a very good family. My mother always helped me taking periods very easily."
"I still remember during my first time, my mom was with me, she used to feed me more than other days, get me juice and healthy food and during the night she used to make me sleep next to her. But many of my friends use to cry during the time of periods because of their family's weird reactions."