Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who delivered his seventh consecutive Independence Day speech from the iconic Red Fort in Delhi this morning, spoke about his government’s efforts for women empowerment. As he made a mention of sanitary pads, many on social media praised him for a step forward in breaking taboos against menstruation.
“This government has been always concerned about the health of poor our daughters and sisters. Through 6,000 Janaushadhi centres, about 5 crore women have got sanitary pads at Re 1. Also, we have made panels so that the right marriageable age for women can be decided and these panels also work to resolve the issue of malnutrition among women,” PM Modi said this morning, adding that a “decision (on marriageable age) would be taken as soon as (these) panels submit a report”.
“We have worked for women empowerment. Navy and Air Force are taking women in combat roles. Women are now leaders… we’ve abolished Triple Talaq,” he added.
Social media was flooded with responses on the remark as many pointed out that it is rare for a prime minister to talk about menstruation during a national address.
“If I’ve to ask any man from my family to buy me a pack of “sanitary pads”(most likely) they won’t do that.. reasons best known to them. But “My PM” went a notch higher.. For him to talk about providing same thing on a cheaper level for better sanitation needs… guts! THIS IS THE MAN WE NEED (sic),” wrote a user.
Another social media user added, “Over 5 crore sanitary pads have been given to poor women at Re 1 each through 6,000 Jan Aushadhi stores. What a simple and impactful work of progress.”
Gunja Kapoor, a user, wrote: “PM @narendramodi speaks about “Sanitary Napkins” from the ramparts of Red Fort. Woke Indians, don’t undermine the progressive social shift this indicates. This is HUGE – menstruation a mainstream conversation in conservative Indian (sic).”
“Can other countries imagine a PM speaking of both women’s achievements and providing sanitary pads widely from a historic platform? If people don’t find this progressive and path-breaking, what will?” one of the social media posts read.
PM Modi addressed the nation for over an hour during low-key celebrations at the iconic Red Fort in Delhi amid the coronavirus pandemic.