Months after a film about menstruation won the Oscar, the two sisters who starred in the India-based film Period. End of Sentence have now lost their jobs at sanitary pad-making factory in Kathikeda, Uttar Pradesh, reports TOI.
Suman and Sneha are being recognised as the famous “pad women” of Uttar Pradesh now, and reportedly were “fired” recently from their jobs. They are now facing deep financial crisis.
Producer Guneet Monga helmed the Oscar-winning film Period. End of Sentence. Director Rayka Zehtabchi’s short film, set in India, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.
“I can’t believe a film about menstruation just won an Oscar… A period should end a sentence, not a girl’s education,” had said an elated filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi as she picked up the award for Best Documentary Short for Period. End of Sentence.
The Oscar-winning performers, the women behind it were asked to leave after they refused to give Rs 1 lakh each gifted by UP CM Akhilesh Yadav for their achievement. They were also gifted Rs 50,000 each from the state’s governor Ram Naik. The NGO, and Fly, the factory, claim since the movie revolved around their initiatives, the money should go to them, according to the sisters.
“My husband works as temporary guard at a local bank’s ATM facility and is unable to meet monthly expenses of the family. I was not paid for three months and when I asked for it, I was told that Rs 1 lakh were already given to me so I didn’t need a salary, eventually they asked me to quit,” 28-year-old Suman said.
Meanwhile, Sneha, 22, said she had to leave the institute as she had no money to take up lessons to become a cop.
Project manager for Action India Hapur, Devender Kumar, has rubbished the claim. According to him, after the sisters’ got a taste of popularity they “were so engrossed in festivities and began to neglect work”. It went for two months, he said.
The 26-minute short film Period. End of Sentence documents the lives of women who face the stigma attached to menstruation and how they empower themselves. They live unhealthy and unhygienic lives where they have no access to sanitary pads, are forced to drop out of school and cannot take part in normal activities due to menstruation shaming. The women eventually end up empowering themselves after a sanitary pad vending machine is installed in the village. They steadily learn how to manufacture and market their own pads.
Monga travelled to Los Angeles, US, to meet the socially conscious students of Oakwood School and their teacher Melissa Berton, whose initiative The Pad Project, led to Period. End of Sentence, which was shot in 2016. The film was featured at the festival circuit in 2017 where it had won multiple awards. It’s currently available on Netflix.
Feature Image Credit: Filmibeat.com
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