Slated as the world's first feature film about menstruation, the trailblazing Bollywood movie "Pad Man" opens globally Friday with an eye toward breaking taboos around a subject rarely discussed publicly in India.
It tells the story of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social entrepreneur from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu who revolutionized feminine health care in his country after discovering in 1994 that his wife was forced to use old rags during her period.
"I saw a nasty rag cloth with bloodstains. I wouldn't even use the cloth to clean my (bi)cycle," Muruganantham told CNN. "Then, I asked her, 'Why you are using this unhygienic method?' I didn't even know the term 'sanitary pads' in those days."
A newlywed, he bought his wife a pack of sanitary pads as a gift.
"When I handed it over to my wife, I thought, 'Why I am paying so much for a simple 10 grams of cotton packed in a pad? Why not make an affordable sanitary pad for my wife, Shanthi?'"
Since then, Muruganantham has helped millions of rural Indian women by providing them with affordable sanitary products. In 2014, he was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People.
"Everything started from my wife," he said. "Now, it has gone global."
Let's uncover some of the taboos related to menstruation around the world.