Kolkata: Speculations are on that the government, with a year to go for the General Election, will play safe by making a populist budget. However, the price hike in the market seems to take a backseat in women’s wish-list ahead of the budget. Well they seemed to be more concerned about the menstrual hygiene.
As upcoming Bollywood release Pad Man’s producer Twinkle Khanna tweaked on the law makers days back, stating the laws are framed by politicians of age 65 with erectile dysfunction, the government is certainly feeling the pressure of delivering a unique, unprecedented budget by lowering the cost of the sanitary napkins.
In an interview, Twinkle has recently said, “The cost of sanitary napkins is more than viagra because policies are made by 65-year old men with erectile dysfunction.”
But the complaints are not only coming from a popular figure like Twinkle Khanna alone, women IBNS spoke to also demand the same.
Sudeshna Mukherjee, a housewife from Kolkata, feels the sanitary napkins are a necessity and so the cost should come down. “Sanitary pads should cost minimal, since it is a necessity.”
Another housewife from the capital of West Bengal, Mandira Sarkar (47) voiced a similar concern.
Mandira said: “The categorization of sanitary pads as a luxury item is completely wrong. The tax should be minimum or rather it should be tax free for all women to afford them.”
Not just the middle-aged women, the issue is also visible among the young adults.
Suchismita Roy, an undergraduate Mass Communication student, substantiated her point with facts. She has put up a figure that “82% of the girls leave their school when they start with their menstrual cycle”. Hence “more expenditures to be made for providing sanitization to the girls and women or make sanitary napkins tax free”.
The issue is now also the focal theme of the film Pad Man, which will star Akshay Kumar in the lead role.
R Balki directorial venture is a story of Tamil Nadu-based social activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, who developed a low-cost sanitary napkins machine.
Akshay is playing the role of Muruganantham on screen.
The film as well as the womenfolk in general has indeed thrown a question to the Union Finance Minister- can’t the government do which Muruganantham could do?
The picture however will be vivid only on Feb 1 when Union finance minister Arun Jaitley will read the budget papers in Parliament, carrying the weight of expectations from women on his shoulder.