Sharib Hashmi in Phullu
Shaheen Parkar (MID-DAY; May 15, 2017)

Akshay Kumar plays Menstrual Man, Arunachalam Muruganantham, in R Balki's upcoming film, Padman. Now there is another Padman on the way. Filmistan (2014) actor Sharib Hashmi features in Abhishek Saxena's upcoming film, Phullu, a social drama centered on a man who makes sanitary pads in his village at affordable prices so that the women don't suffer the way his wife did. To make things clearer, the makers have added this tagline: Jo aurat ka dard nahi samajhta, Bhagwan usse mard nahi samajhta.

Sharib, however clarifies, "Phullu is not based on Arunachalam. There are several small entrepreneurs in the country making low-cost sanitary napkins, but are not known. One of the film's producers, Dr Anmol Kapoor, is a doctor based in Canada. He had heard of a case of a man who used to make low-cost sanitary napkins in a village in Punjab about 25 years ago. He was keen to highlight the issue of women's hygiene in Phullu."

The film, shot in Mathura, was wrapped up in October last year. Informs Sharib, "The film went on the floors early last year, long before Padman was announced. I play Phullu, the person who makes the sanitary napkins. It is a fictional account set in a Uttar Pradesh village. We release on June 16, so our film will be out much before the Akshay-starrer."

Earlier, mid-day had reported about two lesser known projects on the same subject. A docu, Menstrual Man, by Anil Virmani, made it to film festivals in 2013. Amit Rai's I Pad, on the same topic, was screened at NFDC Film Bazaar in 2015.