PadMan, the film inspired by the life of Tamil Nadu-based social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, revolutionised the concept of menstrual hygiene in rural India by creating a low-cost sanitary napkins machine. Akshay Kumar is playing the role of Arunachalam Muruganantham and Sonam Kapoor is playing person to who supports him to fulfil his dream.
Sonam Kapoor is really excited to be a part of PadMan and talking about it, she said, “The story of PadMan is unique and it is necessary we talk about the issue. It’s the story of an ordinary man who did extraordinary work for the love of his life, his wife. He became an engineer to give her wife a hygienic and healthy life, and made a machine, which can produce low-cost sanitary napkins.”
She went on to add, “I am playing a person who supports Akshay Kumar’s vision in the film. When you are behind your dreams, you need someone who supports you as much as you can, who says what you are doing is correct to each. We normally say, behind every successful man there is a women and vice a versa, but I believe it’s always someone behind someone’s successes. Like nowadays, so many women who are successful today and their men have supported them very strongly.”
Sonam Kapoor has never faced any stigma attached with periods, as she was never told not to touch anything in house or not to go near her granny, when she was making pickles. Coming from the family of progressive minds, where they discuss most of the things on the dining table, Sonam was shocked to know about some facts and people’s thinking towards menstrual hygiene while working on PadMan.
While sharing her experiences, Sonam Kapoor reveals, “I was shocked to know that only 4% of total Indian women have support to buy sanitary napkins. Others can’t afford to buy it, which is really a shameful thing. Every day we are hearing that we are progressing, we are doing this and that but due to heavy taxes on pads and less awareness, many women are playing with their life by using dirty clothes, dry leaf, fodder, ash. Even they wash clothes in dirty water, as they believe it should not be washed in clean water, otherwise water will get infected. I can’t event think that we have such backward thinking.
“I don’t know if Aksahy sir has shared this with you or not but we were shooting on this particular location for PadMan, where many people left working in the film when they got to know about concept of the film. They were like, yeah sab kya hai? Sab periods ke bare main baat kar rahe hai pad haath main le rahe hai? We live in cities like Mumbai, so we don’t see such things often but it does exists whether it’s Mumbai or Delhi,” Sonam Kapoor added.
Though Bollywood industry makes progressive films, but they are not really thinking same way and Sonam Kapoor experienced it when she came to work from her non-gender biased family. Talking about it Sonam says, “At my home, my mother or father never told us that you can’t do this or do that because you are girl and my Brother Harsh is boy. They always said you can do what you want to do, be what you want to be, if you want to get married get married, and if you don’t want to get married its ok.
“But when I came to the industry, it was like he will get big room and she will small, He will get paid more and she will get less as he is hero, he is boy and you are girl. At home, if I’m getting Rs 500 as pocket money Harsh also used to get Rs 500 only. But, what I saw in the Industry shocked me and I think it happens to all of us when we come to real world for work,” Sonam concluded.