Akshay Kumar’s latest release Padman hit screens on February 9 and it has been doing decent business at the box office. And now, to ensure that more and more people from Rajasthan get to see the film, the state’s Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has made the film tax free. Raje was of the view that maximum number of women should see the film and become aware of the sanitary hygiene. Not just this, she also took her support to the cause a step further by declaring that she will get sanitary pad machines installed in various schools and colleges in the rural areas of Rajasthan.
It’s a welcome move and something that will make Padman lead actor Akshay Kumar, his producer – author wife Twinkle Khanna and the real life Padman on whom the film is inspired by, Arunachalam Muruganantham happy and proud. However, they shouldn’t rejoice as yet. The battle is just half won after all. Filmmakers and actors go about saying a lot of things when their film is about to release. And we would never know how much of it they truly believe in or mean. Akshay and Twinkle, in their various interview during the promotions of Padman, said that while they want their film to highlight the situation of menstrual hygiene in India and make men and women aware about the use and importance of sanitary pads, that was just one part of solving the issue.
They both reiterated how the lack of low cost sanitary options ail the issue right now in the country. Akshay and Twinkle have gone on record to call for tax free sanitary pads and even better, free pads. Given the population, a few pad vending machines here and there would help but not entirely solve the problem. However, while Rajasthan has made the film Padman tax free and we are sure more states would follow, the need of the hour is to make pads available tax free or develop ways to aid provision of low cost pads. Until that happens, the Padman fight will be incomplete.
(With Inputs from PTI)