This time the Independence day celebrations in India were very different from the past. The Indian flag was hoisted across the nation in low-key events that saw people wearing masks and observing social distancing.
Just like every year, the Prime Minister addressed the nation from the iconic Red Fort. But today, there was something different about his speech that won people's hearts.
In an hour-long speech, PM Modi talked about the health of women in India and discussed how his government has made low-cost sanitary napkins available to them.
This government has been always concerned about the health of our daughters and sisters. Through 6,000 Janaushadhi centres, about 5 crore women have got sanitary pads at Re 1.
Sanitary napkins and menstrual health - something no Indian PM has apparently ever talked about in public.
Now with all the talk around period leaves and taboos going on recently, this was surely the highlight of his speech and netizens are applauding PM Modi for shattering centuries-old stereotypes.
Today PM Modi Openly Talked about Menstrual Hygiene from Red Fort Now I don't think Pharmist Should Give Sanitary Napkins in Black Bags as this practice of using black bags particularly for sanitary napkins is just so regressive and weird. @tweetwithgost— Harshit Ahuja (@harshitahuja020) August 15, 2020
Our @PMOIndia talking about sanitary pads in his Independence Day speech today is true progress...made menstruation a mainstream topic. Also kudos to the government who has so far distributed sanitary pads to about 5 crore women at Re. 1 👏— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) August 15, 2020
If in 2014 he broke some Red Fort speech traditions & spoke about open defecation in India being a matter of shame, today Modi spoke about sanitary napkins, a taboo topics even in middle class family drawing rooms. Clean India is something the PM believes in, breaking taboos too. pic.twitter.com/DoXosEeukj— Arun Kumar G (@ArunkgIndian) August 15, 2020
Breaking taboos from the ramparts of Red Fort: From speaking about open defecation in 2014 to the importance of sanitary napkins in 2020 https://t.co/77NPQ2rZql— Nupur J Sharma (@UnSubtleDesi) August 15, 2020
Modi is the first Indian PM to talk from Red Fort about sanitary napkins. Something most men still squirm about.— rama lakshmi (@RamaNewDelhi) August 15, 2020
This is what true equality means. A male PM talking about women's hygiene issues. It's a proud day for us Indians, to have a PM who has the guts to bring up relevant issues. https://t.co/O4lTn3GCr1— Nithya Hari (@HariNithya2) August 15, 2020
Sanitary Napkins available to all at Re 1: PM Modi from Red Ford on Indepddance Day. That’s what a real progressive leader does. Breaks taboos, drives change and equality. He continues to amaze!— Manish (@sinmani) August 15, 2020
There was a time Sanitary Napkins were not spoken about even within four walls of homes in India & today Prime Minister Modi spoke about it from Red Fort on Independence Day.— #VishhalThakkaar®🇮🇳 (@vishalgthakkar) August 15, 2020
That is true Independence of breaking old shackles.
This could be just the right step we need to break taboos around menstrual health and start conversations.