Source: Amar Ujala (20-Feb-2019)

How Hapur's pad-women became stars of an Oscar-nominated documentary

Sneha, a villager who dreams of enlisting in Delhi Police so that her existence can mean more than just someone’s daughter, wife or mother. When she begins working at the pad-making factory, she cannot tell her father what her exact job is. In fact, even the people on whose property the machine has been installed believe that the machine makes baby nappies, not sanitary pads. Yet again, menstruation becomes cloaked in secrecy, shared by these women who are making the pads and earning a livelihood that supports their hopes and dreams.

But in the course of the film, inhibitions are shed. The same women who were wary of talking periods and called the blood ‘impure’ become part of a sisterhood that uplifts their fellow women by making menstruation less discomforting. And when a few men join in the fray, we realise that this initiative has major potential to break that gender barrier that makes menstruation such a hush-hush topic amongst people.

Period. End of Sentence isn’t just an isolated effort to remedy the situation. It’s a cog in well-oiled machine called ‘The Pad Project’ which believes that a period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education. By pushing Muruganantham’s pad-making machine in villages, the idea is not just to save girls’ education but also to empower women with a means to earn a livelihood by making these pads—independence to every woman, age and menstruation no bar.

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