Suman is an Oscar winner, whose story of grit and determination has inspired many women to address and fight-off taboos plaguing their life and the society they live in.
Like every other woman who emerged as a winner, Suman’s life has been through several ups and downs. She had to fight misogyny, stereotypes, and cognitive dissonance to get where she is today. Her life is an example that when life throws lemons at you, better make some lemonades!
Hailing from a small Indian village, Suman was leading an ordinary life up until her women’s welfare group “Mahila Sabla Sangh”, associated with the NGO, asked her to participate in the project that required her to educate women in the village about menstrual health and hygiene, as well as, help in manufacturing sanitary pads. It was a huge call, especially in the society that didn’t find it acceptable to say the word ‘period’ out loud.
Suman set up a small sanitary pad manufacturing unit in her House and shifted to a rented house with her family. Then she set upon the herculean task of convincing local women to start using sanitary pads. After constant rebukes and resistance, women finally came around to her idea. Women relatives like her sister-in-law Sneha joined her and thus, this small initiative turned out to be a significant movement of resilience.
The documentary, Period. End of Sentence is based upon the real-life challenges of Suman and how she had to move mountains to make sanitary pads accessible for women around her. The documentary follows a group of women in India in their quest to set up an affordable sanitary pads manufacturing unit. It won an Oscar in 2019 under the Best Short Documentary category. and also Win’s thirty-five awards around the world before and after oscar, & “19 Most Important Moments for Women in 2019” around the world of ELLEmagazine.
Suman has now set upon an even bigger journey to spread-awareness about female hygiene and menstrual health throughout the country.
As a woman who finds great joy in supporting other women to live a life of connection, health, and wellness, Suman has worked passionately with women across various economic sections and regionalities. She has been awarded hundreds of prestigious awards in India and the most prestigious awards for women in India Devi award by the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath Ji. Suman and Mavayna’s efforts have earned them the well-deserved nickname Pad Women of India.
We welcome Mrs. Suman on board!