Just watched a phenomenal trailer of “Phullu”. Such a promising concept and trailer! Need more such movies and initiatives to discuss and raise awareness on women’s issues. The punchline by the protagonist is spot on, “Jo aurat ka dard nahi samajhta bhagwan use mard nahi samajhta!”
Really hope now no one would have to wrap sanitary napkins in newspapers anymore. No girl would need to use words like bread as a code word or say please give that or this without even mentioning what the product is. Strangely the cynical look of the males who used to wrap the sanitary napkins in newspaper or black polythene is still vivid in my memory. As a teenager I thought it was embarrassing to buy a pad from a chemist in my native place due to these gimmicks and antics practiced in our society. It was ironical to feel so as those products were called “Carefree” at that point of time and there was nothing free or caring about it! If I could remember correctly it made women feel embarrassed, vulnerable and weaker than the male sales personnel as we would be subjected to hush hush whispers, a sly grin or narrowed eyes!
Hats off to men like Arunachalam Muruganantham from Tamil Nadu who brought up a revolution in this industry! Sanitary napkins should not be a luxury but it is a necessity for women to maintain personal hygiene. I really hope in the new GST sanitary napkins would be treated as an essential commodity and taxed accordingly. Heavy taxation on these products would make it inaccessible for more women in India. It would drive more teenage girls away from schools in rural India. One embarrassing event in school can pose a threat and be a red flag to the matter of continuing education for these girls. This would help girls to fight the mysogynist society who stamps them as impure.
We don’t need hushed ‘Whispers’ anymore, we need voices, we need ideas, we need minds, we need lips and tongues and ears, and we need game changers like Arunachalam and movies like this to start a constructive dialogue! Rather than having innovation in the design of sanitary napkins from winged ones to soft ones we need a shift in the attitude, where the society would be soft to these girls and see how these little angels would spread their wings and fly high!