Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar has said with Padman, about a man who develops low-cost sanitary pads, they are trying to reach out to a wider audience without looking at the commercial aspects of the movie.
“With ‘Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’ we had shown it (film) on Doordarshan channel, the government is also doing a good job by taking the film in a pen-drive and showing it in villages so that more people can see the film and understand it. “We will do something similar for this film (‘Padman’).
Our aim is not to earn money through the film but it should reach more people, more places where it is needed. We will also take the help of the government,” Akshay told reporters here at the song launch of Padman.
Akshay’s wife Twinkle, who is one of the producers of the film, said the team got in touch with various ministries about showing the film in schools in smaller towns and cities, to make more people aware about menstrual hygiene.
“We would want the film to be shown to school girls and principals, so it penetrates where it has to. At least we are hoping a conversation starts where the same girls, who can’t afford a sanitary pad, would say to their parents that we don’t need fairness creams, we need sanitary pads so that we can go to schools.”
The makers today launched the song ‘Aaj Se Teri’ featuring Akshay and his on-screen wife Radhika Apte.
The national award-winning actor has been doing films like Toilet: Ek Prem Katha and Padman, focusing on social issues, and he said it is a deliberate move to be associated with such kind of cinema.
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“I do this (referring to social-real issue films) but at the same time, I am also enjoying doing commercial cinema. I am also doing a film like ‘Houseful’. I have done all kinds of film, I love doing films. This (social issue) kind of cinema attracts me, it gives me satisfaction as an actor and as a human being.”
Akshay is happy that people especially men have today openly started talking about sanitary pads, and hoped that post the release of Padman, things would only get better.
“Three-four days back, I was sitting in a vanity van and while I was coming out, I saw seven-eight guys talking about sanitary pads. I was amazed. I am hopeful people will understand the importance of this subject.
He hoped the movie will help stop superstitions like not touching the pickle or entering the kitchen during one’s period.
Padman is directed by R Balki and it also stars Sonam Kapoor in a pivotal role. It will open in cinema houses on January 26.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates took to social media to praise Toilet: Ek Prem Katha for promoting sanitation.
On this, Akshay said, “I was on stage when I saw the name of Bill Gates. It is amazing. I feel more change… improvement is needed. A year back, there were 54 per cent cases of open defecation and now not it has come down to 34 per cent, things are moving.
“With this subject (menstrual hygiene) we got to know that 82 per cent women don’t use sanitary pads and with the help of everyone including the government, we hope the numbers come down.”