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Video: Minister Smriti Irani Opens Up About Miscarriage On TV Set

2023-12-22 11:40:38

Video: Minister Smriti Irani Opens Up About Miscarriage On TV Set

Smriti Irani triggered a controversy with her remarks in parliament on paid menstrual leaves

New Delhi:

Union Minister Smriti Irani opened up about having a miscarriage on the sets of a TV show and how she had to return to the sets “two-three days after giving birth”. This comes amid a huge controversy over the minister’s remarks in parliament on mandatory paid menstrual leaves for women at workplaces.

Ms Irani had earlier told parliament that the “menstruation cycle is not a handicap”, that “menstruation is a physiological phenomenon”, and “only a small proportion of women/girls suffer (severe pain)”. Most of these cases could be “managed by medication”, she further said, triggering a social media outrage.

On a podcast hosted by journalist Smita Prakash, Ms Irani clarified that contrary to what reports said about her, she didn’t have it easy on the sets.

“When this paid menstrual leave controversy started, some lady, who claims to be from the industry, wrote, “Smriti Irani had it easy. She had a vanity van.”. No, I had a miscarriage on set.”

“You know, I came back to work, two-three days after giving birth. I had no birthing facilities in terms of feeding my baby. So between my studio and the place I lived, there was a 10 minute distance. So l would forego lunch breaks, water breaks, and tea breaks just so that could be with my baby. But I had no special facilities on set. But I know how much it mattered. We would work, let’s say, 12 hours or we would sometimes go up to 16 hours of work. At that time nobody would charge for one and a half shifts. So we fought for that – to say if you’re working beyond a ten hours shift, and if you’re working to make sure that girls have to work through the night, get them transports. I have done all that,” she said.

Last week, Ms Irani, who left a successful acting career to pursue politics, triggered a row after shooting down Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha’s questions on paid menstrual leaves being made mandatory at workplaces.

“… menstruation and the menstruation cycle is not a handicap… It is a natural part of women’s life journey. We should not propose issues where women are denied equal opportunities just because somebody, who does not menstruate, has a particular viewpoint,” the Union Minister said.

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