Katikheda village in western Uttar Pradesh’s Hapur district on Monday saw joyous celebration as the short film, ‘Period – End of Sentence’, won an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards.
Two of their own -Suman and Sneha- went to America to receive the Oscars and villagers were proud of their superstars.
The film is based on the menstrual cycle and stigma attached to it. The girls’ determination and perseverance to overcome all obstacles have brought this day into their lives.
“We never thought in our wildest dreams that we will achieve something like this,” said Rakhi, one of the girls who works at the sanitary pads manufacturing unit called ‘sabala mahila udyog’ that has been featured in the film.
Another, Sushma told ANI, “I am extremely happy with the achievement. However, we all faced unfathomable challenges during the course of this journey. The problem of power cuts made our work even more difficult. We had to work till late at night because of that. But our hard work has borne sweet fruits.”
Another girl Ruksana said that she will welcome her friends Sneha and Suman with garlands when they come back. “I am eagerly waiting for them to come back. The whole village is very happy. It was unbelievable when I heard it first. I will welcome them by garlands once they come back.”
Suman’s mother-in-law Virvati also expressed happiness over the achievement “I don’t know what an Oscar award is but I have learnt that my daughter-in-law has achieved something big.
While her husband Balraj said “she has not seen even nearby places and now she has gone to America. It is a benchmark success. We as a family have supported her in her struggle.”
Sneha’s father Rajender who did not support her for this work initially is now proud of his daughter after she achieved the most prestigious award. “I wanted her to study and prepare for Delhi police and UP police exams but she said she will do something for women empowerment. She was determined and convinced me that it won’t affect her studies,” he said.
Her mother Urmila said that “although it is a taboo to talk about menstruation and sanitary pads in our community I openly communicated with her about this subject. I am very happy with what she has achieved today. She has made the whole country proud.”
The village Katikheda is now waiting with much fervour for their daughters to return and show them Oscars.