#PadManChallenge: Netizens Join Comedienne Mallika Dua in Saying it is a Wastage of Sanitary Napkins; Call it “Marketing Gimmick”

Shruti Venkatesh
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#PadManChallenge: Netizens Join Comedienne Mallika Dua in Saying it is a Wastage of Sanitary Napkins; Call it “Marketing Gimmick”

Don't waste time on stupid marketing gimmicks, said netizens

Akshay Kumar’s much-awaited film PadMan hit the screens today and has been receiving some great reviews from the audiences and critics. The film, starring Akshay Kumar, Radhika Apte and Sonam Kapoor, has been directed by R Balki. It is based on a short story in Twinkle Khanna’s book The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad and is inspired by the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu, who invented a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine. To market this film, the makers came up with a unique idea, by asking celebrities to pose with a sanitary napkin in their hand. Starting with Akshay Kumar, a number of celebrities joined in the #PadManChallenge by posing with a sanitary napkin in their hand. But slowly, a voice against this marketing strategy is getting stronger on social media.

Mallika Dua In Support Of Akshay Kumar's Padman And Not The Padman Challenge - Read Post

To put things in context, the challenge was aimed at reducing the shame around the menstruation and usage of sanitary pads. In India, a lot of women still use a cloth during periods as they cannot afford or are unaware of sanitary napkins. Celebrities participating in the challenge tagged at least two other celebrities, in order to continue the cycle of the challenge. However, comedienne Mallika Dua posted on Instagram saying that she is against this marketing strategy, and not the film. She said that while she wholeheartedly supports the film and that it could “de-stigmatise menstruation for the masses”, she was against the Instagram challenge that is “masking itself as a movement” when it is just a “marketing gimmick”.

Here is Mallika Dua’s post:


After this post, a number of people voiced their displeasure at this marketing gimmick masquerading as a movement. Comedienne Supriya Joshi also took to Facebook and dissed the movement. She opined that one shouldn’t waste sanitary napkins on “stupid marketing gimmicks”.

Here is Supriya Joshi’s post:

Dua and Joshi are not the only ones who find this challenge irrelevant. People on social media have stated that instead of posting pictures on social media, celebrities should go out and provide help in the real world. Giving free sanitary napkins to rural women and creating awareness among them should be the priority, said many users. People also pointed out that women on social media are already well aware of the usage of sanitary napkins and they are not really the target audience.

Here’s what those who oppose the challenge said:

Find the real target audience, said many:

Disgusting, said some:

Serious issues:

Not Impressed:

Many were furious:

The #PadManChallenge has been trending on social media for the past few days. From Karan Johar and Ranveer Singh to Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma, all the big names of Bollywood participated in the challenge. TV personalities like Karan Patel, producer Ekta Kapoor and sports personalities like PV Sindhu also participated. The film is based on Arunachalam Muruganantham, who not only created a low-cost sanitary pad-making machine, but also generated awareness about traditional unhygienic practices around menstruation in rural India. In 2014, he was included in Time magazine’s list of 100 Most Influential People in the World and in 2016, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.