The issue of menstrual hygiene was never before discussed in such a length in India. But with the release of the movie Padman and Akshay Kumar playing the protagonist, the issue is being discussed not as a taboo but as an awareness campaign. Another good news is that the cycle that was used in the film by Padman aka Akshay Kumar is now up for auction and that to for the cause of women and girl child. Filmmaker R. Balki himself announced the auction of Padman Cycle and the proceedings will go straight for the noble cause of Laadli – A girl child Campaign of Population First Organisation.
Actor Akshay Kumar in his tweeter handle extended his support for Laadli and announced the auction of the most talked about Bicycle from Padman Movie.
A day before the release of the film a panel discussion was organised by Population First on the issue of the Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health in the presence of around 25 adolescent girls. The panel discussed was also attended by R. Balki, Director- Padman, Dr. Rishma Dhillon Pai, Ex-President of FOGSI, Ms. Dolly Thakore, Veteran Indian theatre Actress, Social Activist and National Coordinator for Laadli Media Awards, Anuja Gulati, State Program Officer, UNFPA, Shoheb Ali, Director- Marketing, Bidkartz.com, A L Sharada, Director of Population First and Ms. Rupa Naik, Senior Director, MVIRDC World Trade Centre Mumbai.
Director R Balki alongwith Laadli Team and Team of Bidkartz has made the announcement about the auction he also assured all support from Team Padman “Relevant merchandise from movies need to be used for good cause. I am happy that we could lend the cycle for cause of Laadli. The film through all such awareness campaigns has stuck the right chord and Menstruation, Mentrual Hygiene, Sanitary Pad is no more a taboo subject“, Balki assured.
Dr. A.L. Sharada, Director, Population First shared the data “It is shocking to note that only 12% of women use sanitary padsbin our country. Poor menstrual hygiene is responsible for heavy avoidable disease burden among women. The social norms and taboos surrounding menstruation make it a monthly painful and humiliating experience for many women. There is a need to change the social norms and challenge the taboos. The efforts of many campaigns like Laadli will receive a great boost when a people’s hero like Mr. Akshay Kumar, through a mainstream film, addresses the issue. It also strengthens our advocacy initiatives with the government to improve women’s access to menstrual hygiene products”.
The girls from Shahpur village of Thane shared their hidden stories through a dialogue after a statistical data on menstrual hygiene issues were shared at the event.”I got my periods when I was in 7th Std. I was told not to touch pickles, papad, god idol, which I had been following, but after the programmes conducted by Population First in our village, I made changes in my mindset and now even my family is very vocal and has started becoming open about the otherwise taboo subject” shared, Swapnali, a Kabaddi Player residing in Shahapur Village. She also shared her memories on how she shifted to sanitary napkin from a cloth. She also voiced her concerns on the higher costs of the sanitary pads. Population First has been also helping the adolescent girls for making their own pad with the help of cotton.
The auction of the Padman Cycle on Bidkartz is LIVE till 20th February.