12% GST has been imposed on sanitary pads, a basic necessity for women. At a time when we are trying to promote the use of sanitary pads, especially in rural India and films like Phullu and Padman are being made, how practical is it to impose a tax on it? Bollywood actress Kirti Kulhari shares her views on the same in an exclusive interview with Koimoi.
When asked if 12% GST would further curb the use of sanitary pads in rural areas, Kirti said, “I have two thoughts on that. Firstly, anyway, the use of sanitary pads is not very common in the rural areas. This becoming more expensive will obviously affect that. However, I recently heard a show on radio where an expert was talking about GST. They mentioned that whatever you feel right now, might suddenly feel too much. However, the actual effects of the increased tax rates will be seen post 3-6 months. I have that faith in the government that it is a consumer-friendly reform. You might feel that it is a step which is hitting you hard but if I go by what I heard, it will settle down. Despite that, I feel this is something not good considering we are anyway trying to increase the awareness about sanitary pads.”
The actress is equally worried about the impact of non-biodegradable wastes on the environment. Expressing her concern, Kirti said, “Sanitary pads, tampons are not bio-degradable. It takes years for these to decompose, which is obviously affecting the overall pollution on the planet. Imagine there are so many women! Hence I’m also in support of using cloth, which is mostly done in rural areas because they can be washed and reused. I am most bothered about the environment. If that makes us go back to our basics and use some things that are reusable, I would want to follow that path.”
When asked about the health hazards which come with the usage of cloth, the actress says, “I have heard of enough infections with tampons and all. There are so many women out there who are not okay using it.”
On the work front, the actress is busy promoting her forthcoming film, Indu Sarkar. In the film which is based on the backdrop of the 1975 Emergency, Kirti essays a poetess who rebels against the system. Indu Sarkar directed by Madhur Bhandarkar hits theatres on 28th July.