In India discussing periods is still considered a taboo, but with the ongoing campaigns against breaking this silence people are now opening up more about these topics, at least on social media. A few days back actress Diya Mirza also revealed why she doesn’t use sanitary pads during her periods. The statement by the actress certainly generated a lot of awareness about the non-bio degradable nature of most of the sanitary pads.You can watch the video here where we described how a sanitary pad stays in the environment for 800 years before getting destroyed.

The need of the hour is to generate awareness about the issue and what can be a better way than a Bollywood movie with a superstar. Akshay Kumar’s “Padman” is one such effort to create awareness about the sanitary pads.Written and directed by R. Balakrishnan aka R. Balki, Padman is a comedy-drama film and is based on Twinkle Khanna’s book, The Legend Of Lakshmi Prasad, which is inspired from the life of social activist, Arunachalam Muruganantham.

Who is Arunachalam Muruganantham?

Arunachalam Muruganantham is a social entrepreneur from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India. He has invented a low-cost sanitary pad making machine and has innovated mechanisms for generating awareness about traditional unhygienic practices around menstruation in rural India.His mini-machines, which can manufacture sanitary pads for less than a third of the cost of commercial pads, have been installed in 23 of the 29 states of India. He is currently planning to expand the production of these machines to 106 nations.

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In 2016, he was awarded Padma Shri by Government of India.

The Journey

Once Murugananthan discovered his wife collecting filthy rags and newspapers to use during her periods, as sanitary napkins made by MNCs multinational corporations were expensive.This motivated him to design experimental pads. Initially, he made pads out of cotton, but these were rejected by his wife and sisters. Eventually, they stopped co-operating with him and refused to be the test subjects for his innovations.

He realized that the sanitary pads cost 0.10 paisa per pad but were being sold at 40 times the price.When he failed to find a volunteer as his test subject he started testing it on himself, using a bladder with animal blood but became the subject of mockery when the “sanitary pad” was discovered in his village.He was shunned by his family for his experiments.

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Finally, after two years of struggle, he devised a low-cost machine that could be operated with minimal training.His efforts have now been widely recognized and the Padman now runs Jayaashree Industries, which now markets these machines to rural women across India.

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Akshay Kumar today took to Twitter to share the trailer of his movie  ‘Padman’.The trailer shows Akshay on a journey to becoming Padman and breaking the stigma surrounding it.While Akshay Kumar plays the role of Lakshmikant Chauhan in the film, Radhika Apte feature as his on-screen wife and Sonam Kapoor’s character seems to be of someone who supports his dream of spreading the awareness.

The movie is set to be released on 26th January and certainly looks promising and something that is much needed. Watch the trailer here.

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