Twinkle Khanna recently met Pakistani activist and youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Oxford University student, Malala Yousafzai in London before she addressed the Oxford Union on menstrual hygiene and period poverty.
The trailer of ‘Padman’, which is produced by her and has her husband, Akshay Kumar, essaying the role of social entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham, who invented a machine to produce low-cost sanitary pads, was showcased as well. Before viewing the trailer, Malala said, “I’m excited to see ‘Padman’, and am looking forward to seeing the trailer because the message behind the film is truly inspiring.”
During the course of her speech, Twinkle spoke about how Arunachalam’s journey was inspirational and added, “His story fascinated me.
He is the first man to wear a sanitary pad — imagine that! To me, he is an example that intelligence is truly not constrained within the boundaries of a particular language or a formal mechanism like education.”
She also explained why it was important for her to back a film, which spoke about taboos associated with menstruation, the taxes imposed on sanitary pads and how it is still considered a luxury when it should actually be seen as a necessity.
Twinkle explained, “My primary motivation to make a movie on menstruation was to bring awareness on a subject that has so far been tucked away in shadows, and like Voldemort (a character from the ‘Harry Potter’ series), is never mentioned.
‘Padman’, I am hoping, is more than a movie… that it becomes part of a movement where women are no longer hampered, embarrassed or held back because of their biology; where ads no longer show blue liquid instead of red; a world where, although we can’t promise every schoolgirl iPad, we can ensure that they get all the sanitary pads they need.”