oscars 2019: the indian sanitary pad makers\' story wins award

by:Meixin     2020-04-29
A film featuring sanitary napkins made by young women in a village in India won an Oscar for best documentary short film.
BBC\'s Jita Pandi met with women in the village before the ceremony.
She was only 15 years old when she came to menstruation.
She bled for the first time and she didn\'t know what happened to herself.
\"I was very scared.
I thought I was sick and began to cry, \"she told me earlier this week when I went to visit her in Kathikhera village, not far from Delhi.
\"I didn\'t have the courage to tell my mother, so I confided my secret to my aunt.
She said: \"You are an adult now. don\'t cry. it\'s normal.
She told my mother.
\"Now the 22-year-old Sneh has gone a long way since then.
She works in a small factory in the village that produces sanitary napkins and is the protagonist of The Times.
The end of the sentence.
An Oscar-nominated documentary.
She will attend a ceremony in Los Angeles on Sunday.
The film is a student group in North Hollywood who sent a pad with crowdfunding-Manufacturing Machines-and Iranian-
American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi
To the village of Snye. Just 115km (71 miles)
From Delhi, Kathikhera village in Harpur District is a shopping center away from dazzling high
The rise of the Indian capital.
Normally, it\'s two-and-a-half-
An hour drive from Delhi, but the construction work on the highway slowed us four hours.
And the last seven games.
Driving from the town of harble to the village is 5 km kilometers, crawling on narrow winding roads with open sewers on both sides.
The documentary was filmed on the farm and in the fields.
And classroomof Kathikhera.
Like elsewhere in India, menstruation is a taboo topic;
Women who come to menstruation are considered impure, are prohibited from entering religious places, and are often excluded from social activities.
There\'s so much shame around this issue, and it\'s not surprising that Sneh never heard of menstruation before starting to do it himself.
\"This is not a topic that has been discussed --
\"Even in girls,\" she said . \"
However, when Action India, a charity dedicated to reproductive health issues, set up a sanitary napkin manufacturing department in Kathikhera, the situation began to change.
On January 2017, Suman, a neighbor working with Action India, asked Sneh if he wanted to work in the factory.
Sneh, a college graduate who dreamed of working for Delhi police one day, said she was excited.
After all, there are \"no other jobs\" in the village \".
\"When I asked for my mom\'s consent, she said, \'Ask your dad \'.
In our family, all important decisions are made by men.
\"She was embarrassed to tell her father that she was going to make a cushion, so she told him that she was going to make a child diaper.
\"Mom told him I was working on the mat for two months,\" she said with a smile . \".
He said: \"It doesn\'t matter. work is work, which makes her very happy.
\"Today, the unit employs seven women between the ages of 18 and 31.
They\'re from 9-
5 or 6 days a week, 2,500 rupees per month ($35; £27).
The center produces 600 pads a day and sells them under the brand Fly.
\"The biggest problem we face is the power outage.
\"Sometimes, when power comes back to reach the goal, we have to come back to work at night,\" Sneh said . \".
The small business is run from two rooms in the village and helps improve the hygiene of women.
Prior to this, most women in the village used cloth cut from old sari or sheets during their menstrual period, and now 70% of women used mats. It\'s also de-
In a conservative society, the stigma of menstruation and the attitude of change was unimaginable a few years ago.
Sneh said women are now openly discussing menstruation.
But it\'s not an easy thing, she said.
\"It was hard at first.
I have to help my mother with the housework and I have to learn and do the work.
\"Sometimes when I take the exam, when the pressure gets too big, my mom goes to work instead of me,\" she said . \".
Her father, Rajendra Singh Tanwar, said he was \"very proud\" of his daughter \".
\"If her work is good for society, especially women, then I will be happy about it.
\"Initially, the women were opposed by some villagers who were skeptical about what happened in the factory.
As soon as the film crew arrived, they were asked what they were doing.
And some, like 31-year-
Old Sushma Devi, still has to fight daily battles at home. The mother-of-
The two said that only after Sneh\'s mother had spoken to him did her husband agree to let her work.
He also insisted that she finish all the housework before going to the factory.
\"So I woke up at 05: 00, cleaned the house, washed clothes, fed buffalo, made the feces cake we used as cooking fuel, took a shower, made breakfast and lunch before I went out.
In the evening, I will cook dinner as soon as I come back.
But her husband was still unhappy with the arrangement.
\"He is often angry with me.
He said there was enough work at home. Why did you go out to work?
My neighbors also say it\'s not a good job, and they say it\'s a low salary.
\"Two of Sushama\'s neighbors also worked in the factory, but left in a few months.
Sushma did not intend to do this: \"Even if my husband hit me, I will not give up my work.
I like working here.
\"In this documentary, it was heard that Sushama spent some money on clothes for his younger brother.
\"If I knew it would be an Oscar, I would say something smarter,\" she said with a smile . \".
For Sushma, Sneh and their colleagues, the Oscar nomination was a huge boost.
The film was released on Netflix and was nominated for the best short documentary category.
As Sneh prepares to travel to Los Angeles, her neighbors appreciate the \"prestige and fame\" she brings to the village. \"No-
\"A tourist from Kathikhera has traveled abroad, so I will be the first person to travel abroad,\" she said . \".
\"I am now recognized and respected in the village and people say they are proud of me.
Sneh said she had heard of an Oscar and knew it was the biggest film award in the world.
But she never saw a ceremony and never thought that she would be on the red carpet one day.
\"I never thought I would go to America.
Even now, I can\'t fully handle what is happening.
The nomination itself is an award for me.
This is a dream I dream with my eyes open.
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