‘Pad Man’ stars hope to break silence on menstruation

Mumbai: Actors Akshay Kumar and Sonam Kapoor, who feature in the forthcoming movie “Pad Man” — a film highlighting awareness on menstrual hygiene — have collaborated for a video ‘#AbSamjhautaNahin – The Shopping List’, stressing on how the silence around menstruation needs to be broken.

The video, by Culture Machine’s digital channel ‘Blush’ along with ITC’s Vivel, is a spoken word piece listing alternatives to sanitary pads that women in most parts of the country resort to during periods — and they range from old and dirty rags to unsafe objects like ash, coconut husk and hay.

It concludes with Akshay and Sonam urging viewers to donate a minimum of Rs 400 to The Vatsalya Foundation in order to facilitate a year-round availability of sanitary pads to women in various parts of the country.

Akshay said in a statement: “The sense of shame around menstruation is compounded by lack of hygiene products. This can make life difficult for women and girls, who often miss work or school when they’re having their periods. Through the video, we wish to bring out things in the open, so the chance for their being taboos and stigmas kind of starts to dissipate.”

Sonam said: “Due to the secrecy surrounding menstruation, many disadvantaged women and girls end up using unhygienic material which result in serious infections. Through the video, we wish to educate citizens of the country and break the culture of silence around menstruation”.”

With the funds raised through this video, Sakhi Pads will be purchased and distributed to underprivileged women, said Swathi Mukherjee, Director, The Vatsalya Foundation.