LUCKNOW: It was their moment of glory as the residents of Kaathikhera, a small village in Hapur district, burst into revelry on Monday after a documentary - Period. End of Sentence - won an Oscar in the Best Documentary (Short Subject) category at the 91st Academy Awards.
Set in Kaathikhera, 90 km from Delhi, the 26-minute documentary captures the silent revolution unleashed by two village women - Sneha (22) and her sister-in-law Suman (37) - dispelling the myths associated with menstruation, talking about which is taboo in India.
The two women picked up the gauntlet to fight the deeply rooted stigma and educated women and young girls of their village and adjoining areas about menstrual hygiene. They also installed a sanitary pad making machine in their house and named their brand FLY.
The documentary was directed by Rayka Zehtabchi (25) and co-produced by Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment of The Lunchbox and Masaan fame.
“Both women have brought laurels to the country. This is a moment of pride for us. I congratulate the villagers for backing us and Senha and Suman for working day in and day out,” said Rajendra Tanwar, Sneha’s father while talking to the media. Senha and Suman attended the Academy Awards ceremony.
For Arunachalam Muruganantham, a Coimbatore-based entrepreneur who designed the low-cost pad making machine, the Oscar came as a pleasant surprise. “Less than five per cent of rural women have awareness of sanitary napkins,” he said, adding the award would help spread the message faster.
As Monga said, “Period is the end of a sentence, not a girl’s education.”