New Delhi: India’s star shuttler PV Sindhu joined the #PadManChallenge that has many celebrities posting pictures and videos holding a sanitary pad, with the message that there is nothing to be ashamed of about periods, and the final part of the activity is to tag others to take on the challenge. PV Sindhu was challenged by Actor Deepika Padukone. Accepting the task, the badminton star said, “Thank you for tagging me @deepikapadukone ! Yes, that’s a Pad in my hand. Periods are normal. Just another day…#PadManChallenge.”
PV Sindhu, who is currently world no 3 in the Badminton World Federation World Ranking, is the first sports star to take the PadMan challenge.
The challenge hit the social media platform on Friday, when India’s real Padman – Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man behind India’s sanitary revolution challenged Twinkle Khanna, Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor to hold a sanitary napkin in their hand and challenge their friends to do the same.
Since then, the PadMan challenge has gone viral, with thousands and thousands of people from all walks of life joining the task and posting picture of themselves holding a sanitary napkin with a message ‘Yes, that’s a Pad in my hand and there’s nothing to be ashamed about. It’s natural! Period.’
Celebrities like Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Rajkummar Rao, Deepika Padukone, Madhuri Dixit, Alia Bhatt, Shabana Azmi were the first ones to take the #PadManChallenge.
Recently, joining PV Sindhu and the other stars are celebs like Karan Johar, Bhumi Pednekar, Karisma Kapoor, Vaani Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Varun Dhawan, Anushka Sharma and Farhan Akhtar.
Hanging with my trusted weekly best friend,who keeps me secure,healthy & stress free-my PAD. No Shame.PERIOD. @akshaykumar @mrsfunnybones @sonamakapoor @radhika_apte #rbalki all the best.
I nominate @itsSSR @thetanmay @aliabbaszafar for the #PadmanChallenge pic.twitter.com/tqcwdv9YYI
— bhumi pednekar (@bhumipednekar) February 6, 2018
The time for taboo surrounding menstruation is over. Period.
All the best to @mrsfunnybones @akshaykumar #RBalki @sonamakapoor @radhika_apte and team #Padman for the 9th, previously known as that time of the month. Hehehe pic.twitter.com/Jx7RpBWZA2
— Farhan Akhtar (@FarOutAkhtar) February 6, 2018
The PadMan challenge hopefully marks the coming of age of the discourse around periods and sanitary pads. It has well know people flaunting something that is usually kept under wraps. It hopes to start a conversation about what is normally considered too embarrassing to be discussed in the open. Once menstruation is discussed openly, then the issues around it, like menstrual hygiene, will get the attention it deserves. In India, almost 88 per cent of menstruating women do not have access to sanitary products, they rely instead on unhygienic alternatives like pieces of rag, ash, sand and husk. Hopefully talking about periods and what women go through will help educate not just women, but also men and shift the focus on improving women’s health in India.