Twinkle Khanna, India's bestselling female author, film producer, woman's rights activist, interior design entrepreneur, and former actress, has been invited to speak at The Oxford Union, the world's most prestigious debating society, at 5pm on Thursday 18th January.
Approaching its 200th anniversary, The Oxford Union has an unparalleled reputation for bringing international guests and speakers to Oxford, with the aim of promoting debate and discussion not just in Oxford University, but across the globe. Former participants include US Presidents Reagan, Nixon, and Carter, Sir Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Malcolm X, Mother Teresa, Sir Elton John, the Dalai Lama, Michael Jackson, Malala Yousafzai, Morgan Freeman, Shashi Tharoor, and Buzz Aldrin, to name but a few. Twinkle Khanna's participation continues The Oxford Union's fine tradition of hosting world leaders in every field.
Twinkle Khanna is popularly known as Mrs Funnybones, also the title of her first book and her columns. Her first book Mrs Funnybones sold over 100,000 copies, making her the highest-selling female author in India and her second book, The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad, featured a collection of short stories, debuting at number two on Amazon India's bestseller list. One of the stories, Salaam, Noni Appa, has been adapted for a stage production and another story about a man who invented a machine to make low-cost sanitary pads had cinematic potential, so Twinkle Khanna turned producer to develop it for the big screen.
The result is her latest endeavour, Pad Man, the world's first feature film on menstrual hygiene, based on the life of social entrepreneur and activist Arunachalam Muruganantham, who revolutionised sanitary hygiene in rural India 20 years ago.
At The Oxford Union, Twinkle Khanna is set to explain why it is important the world knows about Pad Man's story, the imperative need to spotlight issues relating to menstrual hygiene, tackling taboos and breaking down the stigma attached to periods globally as a means to empower girls and women worldwide, and how movies have the potential to become movements.
Pad Man will become the first Indian film to be showcased at The Oxford Union, presenting a milestone for Indian cinema.
Releasing in cinemas worldwide on 9th February, the film Pad Man traces Arunachalam Muruganantham's international journey from an outcast exiled from society for his endeavours to delve into such a taboo subject, to becoming a super-hero of India's modern history, as he followed his dream to bring a revolution to menstrual hygiene in India. Pad Man is nothing short of an impulsive, flamboyant and driven entrepreneur extraordinaire, who refused to give up in the wake of scrutiny and ridicule, using his resilience and initiative to invent India's low cost sanitary napkin making machine. An extreme enigma in his home town, Arunachalam Muruganantham's super-heroic efforts led to a business that today employs hundreds of women across India.