By Soheib Ahsan
Period. End of a sentence, is a documentary film based in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh. The film starts with the makers of the film asking women, girls and boys about periods, its purpose and menstruation. The people questioned include elderly as well as young women and school going boys and girls. An elderly woman states that she does not know why they bleed but believes that it is a bad thing even though it is needed for the birth of children according to her. A school boy states that he has heard that menstruation is a female illness.
The film then focuses on Sneha, a resident of the district. Sneha had quit school as the cloth she used to cover herself during periods would stain her clothes. She tried to deal with the problem by changing into clean clothes but that proved difficult as there was no secure space for her to change. She aims to be a police officer to fight her fear of being harassed.
Rekha, another resident tells the camera that she has to find a time when she can secretly dispose of her period blood stained cloth.
These women along with other female residents of the district are employed by Arunachalam Muruganantham, the mind behind the low cost sanitary pad producing machine. They are trained to operate the machine and manage to produce 18,000 pads in a month. They name the pad as ‘Fly’ to inspire women to soar. When they set out to distribute the pads, the show the ladies how pads produced by them are better than branded ones. They soak water into both pads proving that Fly’s pads have more soaking ability.
These women hide their actual profession from their families and tell them that they produce diapers for kids. They say that telling them the truth is like taking a stand against patriarchy. On the other hand, the fact that they are working has earned them respect in their families and marriage.
The money that Sneha earns from this job is used for her police training.
The film was funded by Oakwood School in Los Angeles. The school held marathons and bake sales for it.