The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis honoured the Assamese beauty, Urmila Mahanta, for her role in the Indian biographical comedy-drama film, ‘Padman‘ directed and written by R. Balki during the launch of ‘Mission Prahar’, a self-defence initiative for women by ABVP. Padman features Akshay Kumar, Sonam Kapoor, and Radhika Apte in lead roles
Urmila received the honour in presence of actress Raveena Tandon, ABVP National General Secretary Ashish Chauhan, among many others. Mission Prahar is a noble initiative that empowers women across the country to be in charge of their safety. In the recent years, India has experienced a disturbing rise in the number of rape and other horrendous cases of assault committed against women so much so that these issues have become a common sight in the news every day. To combat the situation, Mission Prahar educates the women to defend herself by using a very reactive based technique.
During the function, Urmila spoke about the necessity of self-defence and women’s personal safety. Here’s what she said,
“Self-defence is the need of the hour in a country like India where cases of gender violence are on a tremendous rise, out of which many go unreported, self-defence is a necessity more than ever before. Women should learn how to protect herself and not be the victim. Be a proud woman and celebrate womanhood. I urge everyone to spread the initiative across the northeast and be a part of the mission.”
Post the release of ‘Padman‘ people got a wake-up call and started working towards the improvement of women hygiene.
With a pure Assamese descent, the talented actress marked her space in Indian cinema through debut performance in the critically acclaimed Tamil crime thriller ‘Vazhakku Enn 18/9’ and a supporting role in Akshay Kumar’s ‘Padman‘. She had an interesting role in the compelling biopic about the Indian metalworker, Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist from Tamil Nadu who devised a low-cost method of producing sanitary pads. She says,
“My experience working in Padman is something to cherish forever. Not only did I get an opportunity to work with R. Balki but also the privilege to share screen space with self-made superstar Akshay Kumar, who I have grown up admiring. The film is very special to me. Sonam Kapoor is beautiful inside, out. Both Akshay and Sonam are big stars but their humility and warmth is worth admiration. It was a pleasure working with them because of the enormous positivity that they exude. I was intrigued by Akshay in my very first scene so I stood slightly out of frame. Akshay noticed this and said, “Itni dur kyun khadi hain, ye teri bhi toh scene hai” (Why are you standing so far, this is your scene as well) which shows his generosity as an actor.
As about R Balki, what do I say about him, and words won’t be enough. He is super cool as a director and he knows how to handle all his actors. But more than the big names, what actually stands out about ‘Padman‘ is its reforming message to the society. I feel overwhelmed by the response the film has received. People are actually addressing women’s health and hygiene and talking about it, that itself is a big win for our society. “
The FTII graduate further added that initiatives like ‘Mission Prahar’ and films like ‘Padman‘ should be made more frequently. She says,
“Films have a deep impact on our society. Post the release of ‘Padman‘ people got a wake-up call and started working towards the improvement of women hygiene. Young girls should be taught self-defence, and women health should be introduced as elaborate chapters in school. Both of the initiatives are necessary because it impacts the entire country irrespective of gender, caste, religion, background or language. I think it also unites all of us to work towards a positive reform. ”
READ Urmila Mahanta’s Interview:
WATCH the trailer of ‘Padman‘: