New Delhi: We live in a country where nearly half of the population still practices open defecation and only 12% of menstruating women use sanitary napkins. Apart from this, India is also one of the dirtiest country’s in the world. In a country where movies are religiously followed, movies with Swachh Bharat themes are probably one of the most effective ways of preaching the benefits of swachhta. Here’s a look at the movies that are spreading the Swachh India message.
Toilet: Ek Prem Katha: When the 49-year-old actor, Akshay Kumar tells you to build toilets at home, you listen! Fighting the age-old problem of open defecation in India, Akshay Kumar along with Bhumi Pednekar is hitting the big screen on August 11, to tell the world that practicing open defecation is bad for the health. Akshay who plays the role of Keshav dreams of getting married, he meets Jaya (Bhumi Pednekar), falls in love and gets married. However, all was well in this ‘anokhi love story,’ until Jaya finds out that Keshav’s house and village have no toilet. And, then begins the battle for a toilet. Going against all odds, both actors attempt to bring a change in their family’s thought and spread awareness in their village about toilets and sanitation.
Mere Pyare Prime Minister: According to the government statistics, nearly 43 per cent of India’s rural population still defecates in the open and if India has to fulfill the goals of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, then it is important to look after the neglected pockets like slums. Through Mere Pyare Prime Minister, the filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra is doing that. The story revolves around an eight-year-old boy, Kanhaiya, who hopes to make a toilet for his mother.
Phullu: Another problem India is grappling with is the issue of unhygienic menstrual practices. According to the latest national health data, in only seven states of India, 90% or more women in the 15-24 age group use hygienic protection during menstruation. Rest of India still opts for unsafe, unhygienic menstrual products.
To highlight this dark reality of India, Abhishek Saxena decided to make a film titled ‘Phullu’ in order to fight menstrual taboo and spread awareness regarding hygiene and why opting for good menstrual products is necessary. The film is about a man named Phullu who decides to dedicate his life to making low cost pads for the women in his village.
Padman: Fighting the same battle, another movie that will hit the big screen soon will tell the world the story of a real life superhero, Arunachala Muruganantha, who is the school drop-out from Coimbatore and made it his life’s mission to provide low-cost sanitary napkins to poor women across rural India. The role of the ‘Sanitary Man’ of India will be played by none other than Akshay Kumr. The film has been conceptualised by Twinkle Khanna and will roll out under her newly launched production house, ‘Mrs Funnybones Movies.’
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan Progress report
To achieve the goal of Clean India by 2019, the government plans to construct 12 crore toilets in rural India. However, construction of toilets is not the only goal under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan the government aims to meet the target of 100% waste segregation at source in order to reduce the garbage load from the planet and make India litter free. Apart from these, another major objective of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is to provide hygienic menstrual solutions to the women in India.