• Indian men are posting selfies holding sanitary products to take part in the #PadManChallenge. (Twitter / @aamir_khan / @karantacker)
In many parts of India, menstruation is heavily stigmatised. The #PadManChallenge wants to resolve that.
By
Chloe Sargeant

6 Feb 2018 - 2:18 PM  UPDATED 6 Feb 2018 - 2:18 PM

People throughout India are joining in on a Twitter hashtag trend that is sweeping the nation - the #PadManChallenge. 

The challenge has picked up speed in the last few days, and encourages people — particularly men — to photograph themselves holding a sanitary pad in order to help destigmatise menstruation, and show that it's not taboo to show or speak openly about period products. 

The selfie-taker will then post the photo to social media with the hashtag #PadManChallenge, and challenge some of their friends to join in by tagging them.

Bollywood stars such as Diana Penty, Aditi Rao Hydari and Vaani Kapoor have also taken part in the challenge in order to raise awareness:

Indian actor Rajkummar Rao took the challenge to a whole other level by filming a skit, in which he heads to a chemist to purchase pads:

The challenge was boosted by Akshay Kumar, who is the star of upcoming Bollywood film Pad Man, a biopic about Arunachalam Muruganantham. 

Muruganantham became known as the Pad Man in the early 00s after he invented a low-cost machine that makes sanitary pads.

He is also credited with increasing awareness around unhygenic traditional menstruation practices in rural areas of India, and is an advocate for removing the taboo around periods and period products.

The inventor thanked those taking part in the social media challenge, and contributing to the removal of stigma from menstruation in India. 

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