A film based on young women in an Indian village who make sanitary pads has won an Oscar for best short documentary on the stigma around menstruation in rural India.
In this video, 22-year-old Sneh who lives in Kathikera village in the district of Hapur (115 km – 71 miles from Delhi) speaks about her having been jobless until the charity Action India set up a sanitary napkin manufacturing unit there.
She is a prominent figure of the documentary which was conceived when a North Hollywood student group set up crowdfunding to dispatch a sanitary pad-making machine to the village, as well as motivating Iranian-American film-maker Rayka Zehtabchi.
The backdrop to the documentary are the fields, farms and classrooms of Kathikhera. Here, like in many places in India, to even mention periods is taboo. Menstruating women are said to be impure and barred from most religious places and often also from attending to social events. It was a courageous move for all the featured women to speak up and address the centuries-old taboo of menstruation.
The film is available on Netflix.