The story of real life (super)hero Arunachalam Muruganantham will soon be played out on the big screen by (in all likelihood) Akshay Kumar. For those who don’t know Muruganantham, he is the school drop-out from Coimbatore who made it his life’s mission to provide low-cost sanitary napkins to poor women across rural India. Ummm… would this provide enough fodder to make a mainstream Bollywood film, you wonder?
This upcoming movie would be produced by the new production house of Twinkle Khanna and in this, Akshay would be essaying the character of Arunachalam Muruganantham, the man who is responsible for the empowerment of rural women.
Here are some interesting elements from Muruganantham’s life:
Muruganantham wanted to provide a clean, low-cost sanitary pad for his wife after discovering that she used dirty unhygienic rags
He experimented by making pads out of cotton, which did not work
He used his experiments on his wife and sisters to check if his indigenous pads were effective but they refused to continue using them after a few trials
Muruganantham approached female medical students to try out his product, but they were shy and refused
He then decided to wear the sanitary pad himself
Muruganantham went around with a pad in his underwear and a bottle filled with animal blood, which would squeeze out the blood on to the pad at regular intervals
His neighbours started calling him a ‘pervert’ and his wife decided to leave him hoping it would bring him back to his senses, and even served him a divorce notice
After 2 years of research and findings, Muruganantham figured out how to procure the exact material he needed and the process to manufacture a good quality sanitary pad at home
Muruganantham’s low-cost sanitary pad making machines are now sold across India and are even being procured internationally
In 2014 Time magazine featured him as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the world.
Quirky, emotional, life-affirming, inspirational with a ‘true story’ tag – Muruganantham’s story has all the ingredients to make for an interesting Bollywood money-spinner. And with reports of Akshay Kumar fronting it, you can bet this off-beat real life saga will have enough mass-appeal.
For now, it’s over to Twinkle Khanna and director R Balki to make this film as extraordinary as the menstrual man who inspired it.