Tuesday, March 2, 2021

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Can PadMan Movie Raise Awareness about Chhaupadi Custom in Nepal?

Evil social practices have gripped societies beyond reason and logic. Everyday stories of people suffering because of some evil practices float around, but they remain just stories! Will Indian Movie PadMan help to eradicate these evil practices? Will the PadMan Movie have an effect the Chhaupadi Custom of Nepal?

Nepal, a country so rich in heritage and a natural beauty is gripped by a social evil practice – the Chhaupadi Custom. A practice that detains menstruating women to unhygienic, suffocating, dingy sheds, far away from the home. A recent incident brought this ill practice to light when a young 23-year-old girl died of suffocation in the congested hut that she had been ‘banished’ to. Majorly prevalent in the West of Nepal, this evil social practice has suffocated and killed many women. And for what crime were they killed and detained-  that they were in their menstrual cycle.

Bollywood Movie PadMan brings the evil social practice to the big screen. padman is an inspiring tale of a man who devoted his entire life to enhancing menstrual health for women

Evil Social Practices Like Chhaupadi Need To Be Uprooted!

It’s saddening, shocking and surprising at the same time to see that even today, the so-called modern era, societies are still plagued by such derogatory evil social practices. It is believed in Western districts of Nepal that a menstruating woman will bring misfortune and bad luck for the entire household if she lives in the same house. Women in their period are considered impure, and not even allowed to have the same food and diet. In fact, there are separate bathing taps and wells for menstruating women and a woman on her period is not even allowed to walk a path that leads to a holy place of worship.

Read EurAsian Times Article on Women: Major reforms for Saudi Women: Will be allowed in Stadiums from 2018

These women are at extreme health risks, every once a month, because of the deplorable condition of these huts. Diarrhea, respiratory problems, pneumonia, wild animal attacks, rape and abuse by village members- the risks are endless.

A Law Against the Deplorable Evil Social Practice like Chhaupadi

Although the Chhaupadi Custom has been labelled as a Criminal offence by the parliament of Nepal, there are no signs of it leaving the society. This law was passed after immense pressure by activists and social workers. Although the SC of Nepal had directed the govt. to criminalize the custom back in 2005, it came into effect only after a decade. The law states a 3-month sentencing to prison or a fine of $300, or both on anyone who forces a woman to the shed during her periods.

Must Read: Which are the Worlds Most Dangerous Cities for Women?

Radio stations have been sending out messages to the villagers, activists are going from village to village spreading awareness, but the ‘old and wise’ of the village believe this is the way it has to be. The sad part is that even educated women are victims to this custom, some by choice but most forced by the society around them.

The point here is not just about a social evil practice but more about how the life of a woman in these regions is left at the mercy of illogical customs and practices. Living in that dingy shed for 6-7 days is so demeaning to the life of a woman.

Indian Movie PadMan Raises Awareness About Menstruation

While many rural areas in India are also known to practice regressive customs associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle, things seem to be looking up for India! A Bollywood movie titled, PadMan, depicts the true story of an inspirational man from Tamil Nadu, India took it upon his shoulders to spread awareness about menstrual health.

The real PadMan, Muruganantham, upon discovering that his own wife was using old dirty cloth instead of pads, he set out to find a solution. He found out the reason why most women chose dirty unhygienic rags over pads, the cost factor, the health risks associated and also came across some shocking taboos and revelations across the country with regards to Periods.

Read: Padmavati Movie Review: Has Karni Sena Dented the Business of Padmavati?

A biographical cinema, PadMan, brings the evil social practice to the big screen. It’s an inspiring tale of a man who devoted his entire life to enhancing menstrual health for women and finding the best solutions for it. ever since the first trailer came out the movie has brought with it a lot of discussion and rife debates. Here’s hoping that PadMan actually influences the audiences to dust away with old regressive practices and breeds a healthy society for both men and women.

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