“The pandemic has made the situation even more difficult for a lot of women and girls, especially in rural parts of our country,” says Soha Ali Khan. The actor believes that the road to ensuring menstrual hygiene continues to be a key issue. A while ago, hence, she extended a helping hand to women in collaboration with Whispers to ensure that they’ve access to sanitary napkins.
She says, “Reports suggest that women and girls are worst hit, due to work mounting up at home, lack of access to hygiene products and girls being permanently dropped out of school with families facing economic challenges are just a few examples. I strongly felt that I wanted to do something which has a direct impact on girls who are in need.”
She points out that the rural-urban divide became more prominent during the health crisis. She explains, “In urban areas, the underprivileged women are managing with the help of active NGOs that distribute sanitary napkins. However, girls in rural areas are struggling to receive the support they had before the pandemic hit. Many girls who had access to sanitary solutions through their schools now no longer have that support as schools are closed.”
Khan believes that while it’s important for the economy to start opening up, it’s important to practice social distancing. She says, “In other parts of the world where lockdowns have not been imposed, people have done voluntary social distancing and companies have followed protocols like having minimal staff working and ensuring social-distancing norms when in public. We need to do the same here.”
The new normal, according to her, is going to be all about prioritising health and safety. “The crisis is far from over especially in a city like Mumbai. Though unlocking is good for businesses since economies and families are suffering in terms of personal finance and corporate finance, we need to follow the norms using our own sense of social responsibility, personal hygiene and education,” the Rang De Basanti (2006) actor concludes.
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