Twinkle Khanna, former actor herself, is the better half of the Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar. However, don't make the mistake of thinking of her as just a star wife. She is beautiful, fierce and need we mention, speaks her mind, loud and clear.
The actor turned writer is India's highest selling female author for the year 2015. And she even writes a weekly column in the Times of India. She is known for her wit, while the society grapples to come to terms with her opinions. She has time and again challenged the age-old customs, that many Indian women accept, without a question. Be it calling out karvachauth or her stand on wives changing their last names after marriage, Twinkle Khanna speaks for the modern Indian woman. And, just like that, she has now taken the step towards making talks about menstruation more routine in our households.
Recently, she talked about this topic in an interview with BBC. Her main concern was the tax on sanitary napkins in India. She raised some very good questions - how could we achieve women empowerment, when such a basic necessity like a sanitary pad or a tampon is not easily available? Especially in the rural areas in India. With over 12% tax on sanitary napkins, the question has become - Are we, as women, to be blamed for the natural way our bodies function?
She even went on to share that only 23% of women in India use sanitary pads/ tampons, which makes it a major cause for diseases (especially cervical cancer) and 20% of women drop out of schools when they start menstruating. She even mentioned that India is not the only country facing this. In England too, research shows that girls are dropping out of school due to the same reason.
This topic is close to her heart and she even wrote a short story named, 'Padman' in one of her books. She feels that it's high time we take this step towards making sanitary napkins and tampons a tax free commodity - just like sindoor. The government needs to understand that for a girl, a sindoor might be important, but a tampon is way more than just a necessity.