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Be it sexual harassment or women’s health care, Indian-American Padma Lakshmi’s readiness to speak up about women’s issues is indeed inspiring.
Indian origin model Padma Lakshmi, now an American author, actor and television host has always been upfront in talking about women’s issues. Her recent tweets in support of the trending hashtag #WhyIDidntReport regarding sexual harassment cases received a lot of people’s empathy and applause for bravely speaking up for the cause.
Padma Lakshmi had three tweets where she openly spoke about the three different instances when she was sexually assaulted by friends and family. Not stopping at that, she wanted to do more. To reach out to more people about this social evil of sexual harassment, she has now come up with an article in The New York Times where she has explained about all the brutal assaults she has undergone.
She was 7 when it happened first with her stepdad’s relative; she had told her parents then, but was sent away to India in return. She was 16 when it happened for the second time and 23 for the third, but she was still unable to do anything. In the article she has also spoken about all the emotions that one would experience after being used by men for their own pleasure. She has even spoken how scary it if for young girls, who will be compelled to live with constant fears of being assaulted.
Now Padma Lakshmi has made up her mind, that she can’t stay mum anymore – for the sake of her 8 year old daughter. She wants the world to be a better place for the generations to come.
This is not the first time Padma Lakshmi has stood up for a women’s cause. Apart from being the host of a popular American TV show ‘Top Chef,’ she is the founder of the Endometriosis Foundation of America. When many women are not even aware of the menstrual disease Endometriosis, Padma Lakshmi who suffered painful conditions because of it, for a really long time, is working towards creating awareness about it among women.
Endometriosis is an inflammation that occurs due to the monthly fluctuations of a women’s menstrual cycle. The symptoms include bloating, cramping, excessive bleeding and severe abdominal pain. It not just affects women’s fertility and physical health, but is emotionally devastating as well. Hence Lakshmi started Endofound as she didn’t wanted the next generation of women to go through what she went through.
Padma Lakshmi in one of her articles has said, “Nobody wants to talk about this stuff. It’s an incredibly private subject for most women, and even more for a teenage girl. If I had been diagnosed at 16, or 26 or even 32, I would have gained valuable time. I would have been able to be more present for my family and friends… [had] a greater capacity to advance professionally, and I would have also had a greater capacity for intimacy.”
One’s suffering can be other’s learning. Kudos to Padma Lakshmi for sharing all her unpleasant menstrual experiences with the world and even starting an organisation to help other women dealing with similar conditions. To being fighting against the odds, its important to first be aware of what we are fighting against. Be it with her sexual harassment tweets or the Endofound initiative, Lakshmi is making sure that women know their adversaries well and are well equipped to deal with them all.
Image Source – Wikipedia
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