PadMan released on February 9 this year, but the cause of menstrual hygiene is still on leading man and producer Akshay Kumar’s mind. Now the megastar is supporting a nationwide campaign called #18to82, with the aim of bridging the gap between the 18% of menstruating females in India who use sanitary napkins, and the 82% predominantly engaging in unhygienic practices.
The campaign launches ahead of the inauguration of the Niine Movement, which is an ambitious new initiative aimed at raising awareness of menstrual hygiene and tackling the age-old stigma against menstruation across both genders and all age groups.
Akshay Kumar was gung-ho about his support of the Niine Movement, declaring, “Open and unafraid conversations on menstruation are powerful as they help to break down taboos. I am honoured to support the Niine Movement with the launch of the #18to82 campaign because menstrual hygiene is an urgent issue that we must resolve in India.”
He added, “Together we can ensure that every female has the right to manage her period safely and with dignity, and the Niine Movement can drive the social revolution that India needs to initiate change for an entire country. The empowerment of women is the empowerment of a nation.”
The Niine Movement has been conceived by social entrepreneur Amar Tulsiyan. Speaking about the launch of the movement Amar Tulsiyan said: “We each have a responsibility to do what we can to tackle the taboos around menstruation and educate the next generation about periods in the right way. It is my hope that through the #18to82 campaign the Niine Movement becomes the spark that leads the way in bringing menstrual hygiene and dignity to every woman and girl in India.”
The Niine Movement is a five-year plan committed to grassroots change. It will be launched at the Menstrual Awareness Conclave taking place in Delhi on Menstrual Hygiene Awareness Day on May 28, 2018. The Menstrual Awareness Conclave will bring together renowned film personalities, academics, policymakers, government officials, activists, business stalwarts, NGOs, thought-leaders to discuss the impact that stigma and taboos on menstruation have had on holding girls and women back for centuries.