In this interview, Sonam Kapoor talks about her first period and her concern for Indian women who have no access to sanitary pads and other products for menstrual hygiene.
Sonam Kapoor says that not all the women in India are privileged. She shared how her parents Anil Kapoor and Sunita Kapoor brought her and sister Rhea up in a way that their ‘womanhood’ is always celebrated. She said, “I have been brought up beautifully by my parents. My parents have never made me feel that something is wrong with me one because I am a girl or I get my period or I am an actress. I went to an amazing school where I had equal education on everything including sex and period. Everybody is not privileged like me. I can create awareness. Lots of girls will be scared to do a film on periods, but I didn’t even think before signing.”
Since Padman is all about menstrual hygiene, the actor shared a story of how she embraced her adolescence. She said, “I was 15 when I got my period. All my friends had got it way before me. I was very upset with that. When I actually got my first period, I was very relieved because I kept telling my mom that there is something wrong with me because I am not getting my period.”
Even though now women are taking freely about menstruation, there is a large segment of people in India who might find it positive to watch the film in theaters with their families, as menstruation is still a taboo for many.
Sonam highlighted the point that PadMan is a love story before anything else. It is Akshay Kumar’s character’s immense love for his wife that makes this movie so beautiful. It is his love for her that he invents the sanitary pad to make her more comfortable in her otherwise uncomfortable time. The film is meant for the whole family to watch it. She said, “In the end of the day, we shouldn’t forget that it’s a love story of a man who was immensely in love with his wife. He wanted to make her life better. If anybody wants to convince to take their families to watch PadMan, they just have to say that it’s a story of an extraordinary man who tried to make the condition better for women because he really loved his wife and that’s the crux of the film.”
Sonam Kapoor further added, “I think whatever anybody does is all because of love, that emotion drives us. The film is about that emotion. Any extraordinary achievements come out of love. The story is about a man who created sanitary napkins at a cheap price of Rs 2, but it is also the story about what made him do this because he loved his wife.”
The PadMan actor went on to discuss how heartbreaking it is to know that in a country like India, only twelve percent of the women have access to products for menstrual hygiene. She said, “To know only twelve percent of women have access to sanitary napkins is very disheartening. We are only fifty percent of the population and in that only twelve percent of women have access to sanitary napkins. We haven’t seen anything or faced harsh things during our period because we live in the metropolitan city. Hardly we have faced the stigma of not going temple during our period or not touch pickles. I don’t understand what will happen to that pickles but anyway, the girls from rural areas have been treated awfully during their period and that’s the real problem. The substitute for a pad for them is ashes, leaves, dirty clothes and what not.”
Sonam Kapoor and Akshay Kumar starrer PadMan will hit screens on February 9.