Superstar Akshay Kumar, who will participate in a Menstrual Awareness Conclave here to mark Menstrual Hygiene Day on May 28, says the society can only implement change if there are discussions.
He has urged people everyone should ensure that all women have the right to manage their periods safely and with dignity.
“The Menstrual Awareness Conclave is a crucial assembly of minds, influencers and change makers – convening under one roof with the common goal of tackling the urgent issues, taboos and stigmas associated with menstrual hygiene.
“We as a collective society can only implement change once we initiate discussion, and the conclave on Menstrual Hygiene Day is a fitting platform for us to truly empower a nation of women. Together we can ensure that every female has the right to manage her period safely and with dignity,” Akshay said in a statement.
The PadMan star will attend the event as its chief guest, along with The Nine Movement and national change makers.
The Nine Movement, conceived by Amar Tulsiyan, is an ambitious five-year plan aimed at raising awareness of the importance of menstrual hygiene and tackling the taboos associated with menstruation. It will be officially launched at the conclave.
The Menstrual Awareness Conclave will feature two high-level panels, which will engage prominent change-makers from the field of menstrual hygiene awareness and management.
The first panel is chaired and moderated by Poonam Muttreja, the Executive Director of the Population Foundation of India (PFI), which has been at the forefront of policy advocacy and research on gender, population, health and development issues in India.
She will speak to eminent panelists focusing on the importance of menstrual hygiene management awareness and practice and the work already being conducted on ground to tackle the issues and address the barriers.
Some of the panelists include film actor and women’s rights activist Shabana Azmi and Avinash Kumar, Director Programme and Policy, WaterAid India, an NGO which aims to transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people by improving access to WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) services.
Tulsiyan said, “Menstrual hygiene awareness is an issue that is severely under-represented in this country, as demonstrated by the amount of women who still don’t use proper menstrual hygiene products to manage their periods. With the conclave, I am hopeful that we can inspire and motivate everyone to get involved and join the Chain of Nine.”
Film personalities, academics, policymakers, government officials, activists, business stalwarts, NGOs, and thought-leaders will discuss the impact that stigma and taboos have had on menstruation, which have held girls and women back for centuries from achieving their potential and living a life of menstrual dignity.
The event aims to provide an essential platform focusing on collaboration, innovation and cooperation to assess, plan and put into action sustainable solutions to tackling menstrual issues across India, with the support of leading change-makers.
Akshay tackled the issue of menstrual taboo with his recent award-winning film PadMan and will take to the stage to interact with the audience, sharing experiences of his time filming the movie, and explaining why he was so compelled to not only star but produce a film on the subject.
Earlier this month, he extended support to the nationwide campaign for the Nine Movement – #18to82 – to bridge the gap between the 18 per cent of menstruating females in India who use sanitary napkins, and the 82 per cent predominantly engaging in unhygienic practices.