Why ‘PadMan’ is only a ‘Means’ to the ‘End’…

As an issue which continues to plague the country for as long as we can recollect, the taboo around periods and sanitary pads seems to have mustered some kind of support from  cinema. The Super Star Stunt-Man of the Indian Cinema, Akshay Kumar, has turned into a Pad-Man to reflect upon a key issue as he puts on the domino of a man with a mission- a mission to perish the perils associated with menstrual menace in India.  With Pad-Man not being a first to highlight periods in the cinema, Phullu was another movie which got released in 2017 but failed to induce dialogue or provoke thought. PadMan on the other hand, is based on true events, the upcoming movie is a fiction on the story of Arunachalam Muruganatham who in 1988 embarked upon a seemingly impossible journey of making sanitary pads easily available for women after he saw his wife using old rags as substitute for the essential commodity.

WHEN AEONIAL LAXITY CALLS FOR ACTION​

Since decades, there has been a complete state of denial and stigma attached to confronting the menstrual troubles of women or even discussing periods for that matter in our country. The societal taboos have pervaded reality where Barely 12% of India’s menstruating women use sanitary pads. While most women are not allowed to visit temples during their periods, others are treated as untouchables within the premises of their own houses.  While stepping inside the kitchen (which is considered to be the most pious spot of a house) during periods is forbidden for most of them, it is men on the other hand who refrain from acknowledging the various medical ailments and problems their counterparts tend to go through.

While nobody forgets to expect a baby out of a woman, what they forget is that she too is a human and needs proper care for maintaining a healthy menstrual cycle which will eventually lead to the birth of a healthy baby.

Substandard state of menstrual hygiene over a long stretch of time, has led to worsening health conditions. Women in our country now suffer from reproductive tract infections, urinary tract infections which in most cases leads to cervical cancer which itself kills around 72,000 women in India every year, more than anywhere else on the globe.

MENSTRUAL WOES BREAK WALLS- IT’S HYGIENE VS EDUCATION

So far, there has been an immutable trade off between women trying to educate themselves and women on going through their menstrual cycle. This grave situation has been on the rise due to lack of basic facilities and hygienic access to women during menstruation. In India alone, 1 girl out of every 5 girls drop out of schools because of something as natural and basic as menstruation. A total of 28% girls in our country end up abstaining from school and the ones who attend tend to perform poorly owing to the stigmatized perceptions and hesitations their minds are preoccupied with. As unfortunate as it may sound- in a country which envisages itself as one of the major global fore-runners when it comes to technology and power, at least 1 in every 5 girls drop out of the schools due to something as basic and natural as menstruation.

BIG SCREEN VS SMALL AUDIENCE?

Though the movie carries forth a message as strong as that of promoting menstrual health, the question is, how many people in our country will be able to visit cinema halls to watch it?

India accounts for the largest number of people living below international poverty line, with over 30 per cent of its population under the $1.90 (Rs.121.28) a- day poverty measure. While a movie ticket costs way beyond what the daily poverty limit is, it is clearly not something which 50% of the rural Indians- Indians who indeed need the maximum awareness regarding menstruation will be able to afford. So, then it again boils down to what more do we need beyond a star studded and intensely promoted movie to sensitize the masses?  Certainly, a lot of active campaigning, and counselling by the renowned celebrities along with ‘free’ access to sanitary napkins to people who certainly cannot afford.

What our governments fail to realize is that, while we can certainly manage without ‘free’ laptop distributions (SP Govt in UP distributed free laptops to to the people of the state), what continues to be a dire need of the hour is free sanitary napkins to the ‘betis’ of the nation.

DISCUSSIONS IMPERATIVE. PERIOD

And, here we are, selling sanitary pads as a blotted commodity enclosed in black wraps. Irony lies in how we don’t shy away from yelling while we purchase cigarettes or alcohol but when it comes to buying sanitary pads, our voices can barely be heard as the chemist wraps up the sanitary napkins in a black polythene, only to depict how dark and blocked the mindset of the so-called progressive India is.

On the other hand, as the men in our country continue to have the privilege of not being questioned, there lies a larger onus of responsibility on them. More men need to come up and speak for those millions of women while they succumb to the societal mindset. The discussion which needs to be striked is- ‘If, a menstruating woman’s blood is impure, isn’t so the entire human existence?’ ….. Definitely, while movies like ‘PadMan’ can act as catalytic initiator, it is imperative discussions, acceptance, receptivity and campaigns by the masses which need to take the lead in the long run. PERIOD…..

Advertisements

This Actor turned into a ‘Gifting Angel’ for Victims

By Naina Sharma

More than 60 soldiers are martyred annually in India as they leave behind their families, mostly unattended. Besides, an average of 300 Indians are victimized by acid attacks. These victims then undergo a difficult life- full of abandonment, accuses, social exclusion, inferiority and societal indifference.

Meanwhile, the recent gestures by Bollywood Actor, Vivek Oberoi have come as a pleasant surprise for the recently martyred soldiers’ families and acid attack victim, Lalita. Vivek Oberoi has ended up gifting flats to the families of the CRPF men killed in last month’s Maoist attacks in Sukma along with another flat to Lalita and her husband.

Out of the 25 flats for the martyrs’ families, 4 have already been allotted to the family members while the registration for the remaining 21 is still underway.  Earlier, it was Actor Akshay Kumar who donated a sum of 9 lakhs each to the families of the 11 CRPF soldiers martyred in Chattisgarh. Apart from this, Vivek Oberoi, the actor who had met acid attack victim Lalita at a social awareness campaign decided to gift her and her husband a flat in Mumbai.

The point is not about donation or gifts alone, but since our Bollywood actors are quite popular and are often treated as ideals and icons, it is their actions which set examples in front of the society for others to follow a pattern. While the youth does follow the Bollywood trends of smoking and fashion, it will be quite delightful to see the society learning from the apathetic side of their favorites.

While the family members of the martyrs are an equivalent warrior in terms of being brave enough to bear the sacrifice of their near ones, acid attack victims (who quite often commit suicide), on the other hand, end up being victims of a social evil for which they aren’t to be blamed. In this light, such gestures are quite an important element to assist the socially deprived people in the society. And quite truly, Vivek Oberoi has indeed turned into an angel in disguise for these people.

 

 

(Inputs from ANI) 

 

As Trolls Rise, Should Celebs Pay the Price?

By Naina Sharma

Trolling has become a core component of social networking in India. From trolls like “Tag a boyfriend for her” to jokes on celebrities over their choice of clothes, there has been a rise in the variety of trolls. Most often, it is the Indian actresses who are made the sharpest target of trolls in India.

From Cannes, Oscars to now the quite recent Met Gala, the red carpet looks of actresses from all these international events has been subjected to online trolling. While Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone are quite often trolled on what they wear, the two internationally famous actresses have come up with different reactions on the same issue.

Priyanka Chopra: The Quantico and now the Baywatch Diva, PC was trolled earlier in the year over her white Oscars Gown.

89th-oscars-awards-priyanka-chopra-outfit-trolls-on-twitter7

 

Later, she was also trolled for her Met Gala appearance.

troll-priyanka-5_149373481

(Image: Social Media)

This is when Priyanka Chopra took to her instagram and was quite a sport when it came to reacting to the jokes all around the globe. She created an album on instagram and listed her top favorite picks from all the troll ideas on this Tan Coat. She captioned it as, “**drumroll**to your creativity! I’ve picked a few of my favourites!
Good to know that the dress serves more purposes than just fashion. Hope to continue to stir your creative juices. This is why I love the #MetGala you literally can push the envelope for fashion anywhere! Until next time… #ROFL”

Deepika Padukone: While Deepika did not have much trolls to her name, she drew a lot of flack instead. The XXX fame star was criticized for her gown at Met Gala, and earlier for what she wore in the MTV Awards. To this the actress responded saying, ” Sometimes you may like my look and sometimes you may not. I am not dressing for you, my love. I am dressing for myself. The only time I would allow any sort of comment to affect me is when my mom or my girlfriends give me some flak for it”.

Food for thought? As an individual and a woman, I can totally relate to these two. Though not at a large scale, a common woman is quite often trolled as well on the kind of dresses she wears. Well, I would say this is where Freedom of Choice comes to play. None of us dress up to please anybody else. Everyone has an opinion and it must not affect us. Though it isn’t fair to be over- critical, I would say one must not be over sensitive as well. People would say what they wish to and it is for us to shine beyond the criticism.

This initiative by Akshay Kumar will make your hearts melt…

We live in a country where a minimum of  200 soldiers die annually while protecting the nation. These statistics are that of the registered count and has unfortunately been on a steady rise over the past few years. After donating for the financial support to the families of 12 martyred CRPF soldiers in Chattisgarh, Akshay Kumar came reflected upon another befitting proposal made by him earlier this year. The actor had expressed his desire to create a medium of direct communication between doners and the families of the martyrs for easy transaction

Not only is the Bollywood superstar one of the highest tax payers in tinsel town, Akshay Kumar has now stood up for the families of the martyrs by proposing an App called ‘Bharat ke Veer’. The good news is that the proposal made by Mr. Kumar has been accepted by the Government of India and an online government portal has also been allotted to propagate the Initiative. This particular App is available on both, Android and iOS.

Main benefits of the App:

1. The App allows for a maximum of Rs 15 lakh transfer in the form of donation. This transaction will be made to a verified account of the next heir in the martyr’s family.

2. The doner can then also extract information about the martyr’s family members.

3. All the transfers will take place online and the donations will be made online directly without the involvement of an intermediary, thus ensuring a larger degree of transparency.

4.  The donations will be made into the account of the next heir in the family of those who died in the line of duty.

Both app and the website were launched by Akshay Kumar along with the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 10th of April, 2017. The actor has been in news for all good reasons. After having won the National award for his brilliant performance in Rustom, the Bharat ke Veer initiative adds another feather to his cap as he gives another reason to his millions of fans to adore and respect him even more.

Indian DIY skin rejuvenation tips… inspired by PC!

By Naina Sharma

Priyanka Chopra is one of the finest icons for women when it comes to not just her career and success  but her style and beauty as well. And, just like any other girl on this planet, she too has obvious concerns about her the way she looks. This article will tell you more about how PC has gone on record most of the times to approve of some home made organic exfoliation techniques which are a boon for girls who wish for a healthier skin.

NOTE: Please test all the ingredients on a smaller skin surface area to check for any specific allergies.

  1. The Home-Made Scrub: There would be two kinds of scrub under this category. One would be lip scrub and the other would be face/body scrub. The main ingredients for face scrub would be Chickpea Flour, Skimmed Milk (for dry skin), Lemon (Oily skin texture), and Natural Rose Water. You must prepare a mix of these and then gently apply all over your face. Wait for 15 minutes, until it dries off completely. Once dry, rub it off to see the difference. You will notice a cleaner skin. Lip Scrub- Take up a mix of 100% organic glycerine, some sea salt and rose water (a common component for both the scrubs) and then gently scrub off the paste over your lips. Do so for a duration of 5 minutes and you would notice an exfoliated texture over your lips.
  2. The Home-Made Skin Cleanser: This is made up of a mix of plain (unflavoured) yogurt, lemon, sandalwood and turmeric. All must be combined in a proportionate amount, since the requirements may vary as per skin textures and types. This paste is supposed to be gently rubbed on your skin for ten minutes as it removes the dead skin and revives the dead skin layers as well.
  3. The Home-Made Moisturiser: There are different sets of moisturisers for dry and oily skin. For oily skin, the required ingredients are a mix of aloe vera gel and honey. A paste applied to your face for a duration of 5 minutes would work wonders as a moisturiser. If you have a dry skin, then you must apply a mix of olive and sesame oil. This would not only moisturise but would also act as a pack for your skin post scrubbing.

Scrubbing, Cleansing and Moisturising- a three step organic way to rejuvenate your skin without application of chemicals or having to go to the salon! Isn’t nature a gift indeed?