Akshay Kumar feels his latest film Padman should bring a change, just like his last film Toilet: Ek Prem Katha did. Produced at INR 18 crore, the film made over INR 200 crore and brought about a social change.
The star stated that before Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, open defecation was 62% and now it's 33%. According to The Hindustan Times, Akshay hopes that Padman can also spark a conversation about menstruation.
He said, "I am already victorious with millions and millions of people talking about Padman on social media, men discussing with other men and asking each other whether they watched the Padman trailer and that it talks about sanitary pads. I am glad they are talking, they should know."
Padman is directed by R Balki and is based on the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham - an illiterate man who invents a low-cost machine to make sanitary napkins - and brings a wave of social change. However, the Welcome star doesn't think that movie is about a sensitive topic.
Akshay explained, "Do not call it a sensitive issue. Menstruation is a natural process of the human body. It is time to get rid of those taboos attached to it and treat the issue maturely. Also, women should not shy away from talking about it."
The actor also mentioned that India is always mocked for its backward notions on women's hygiene. "Women told me that they used mud, burnt ash and dirty cloth to manage bleeding. It was shocking and horrifying," said Akshay. "I met some foreigners and they laughed at us wondering we didn’t know what a sanitary napkin was. Padman is an important film for our country. Nobody has ever made a film on this issue. Even in documentaries that I saw, sanitary napkins are always hidden."
The 50-year-old also added that he was 20 years old when he first found out about menstruation and sanitary napkins himself. "I never held a sanitary napkin in my hand. Nobody in my family asked me to buy one either and it’s only in the last two years that I came to know about it in great detail," he admitted. "I have now learnt that menstruating women are considered ritually impure and polluted, and they are often isolated as untouchables. They can’t touch pickles, enter the kitchen, go to temples or wash their hair. Too many girls end up dropping out of school because they don’t have supplies to manage their periods."
Padman is slated to release on January 25, clashing with Padmavat. The actor also has Kesari, 2.0 and Gold lined up.
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