- Human health is totally linked with environment health: Dia Mirza
- Dia Mirza: COVID has taught us that we need to protect our planet
- Behavioural change is the key: Dia Mirza
New Delhi: Speaking at the 12-hour NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign’s #SwasthyaMantra telethon, UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India, UN Secretary General’s Advocate For Sustainable Development Goals, Actor and Producer Dia Mirza talked about the link between human health and environment and urged people and authorities to do their bit to save the planet. Talking about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 38-years-old actor said, “SDGs are the global goals that countries across have come together and signed. These are the humanitarian response to the inequalities and inequities that the world is confronted by. They were established five years ago and our country is far behind achieving these goals.”
Highlighting how the COVID-19 pandemic has taught the world a lesson on how keeping the environment healthy is the key to good health, Dia Mirza added,
COVID-19 pandemic has more wave than one and has helped us understand that human health is totally linked with the environmental health.
Stressing on the fact that the world needs to start ensuring climate action, Ms Mirza said,
80 per cent of SDGs will be achievable only and only when we ensure climate action. I don’t think anybody who has understood how important it is for us to achieve these goals will deny the fact that how important it is for us to step up for climate change.
Dia Mirza also said that the COVID-19 pandemic is a result of the broken relationship between man and nature and irresponsible patterns of consumption and production. She added,
This broken chain has led to zoonotic viruses and this disease is one of the many diseases that we have to, unfortunately, deal with and it will continue if we don’t fix this broken relationship.
Stressing on the importance of bringing in lifestyle changes in order to save the environment, Dia Mirza said that any change is possible through behavioural change. Sharing an example, she added,
We had done various campaigns in past, for example, beat plastic pollution – these initiatives were started to bring in community awareness and mobilise the young population to start incorporating small changes like saying no to plastic bottles and carrying metallic or gloss bottles with them. The campaigns have created a humongous amount of awareness and now people are more aware of their actions when it comes to using plastic. What we really need in today’s time is to take this narrative out of environment circles and make it at public disperse and that can only happen through education and public awareness.
Ms Mirza also said that citizen participation is the key in living in harmony with the planet and added,
For example, work of Afroz Shah through his beach clean-ups have made people aware about the plastic pollution and its problems and how carelessly we have been using plastic from past so many years. Another important aspect in all this is the social responsibilities of the companies. They have to become more responsible about the packaging they are producing or supplying to a larger group of people. We won’t be able to see a seismic change until corporates don’t realise their responsibility.
With a message on the lesson learned from the pandemic, Dia Mirza signed off by saying,
We have seen the effect of the lockdown – our skies are blue, our air is clean, the wildlife is coming back to where it belongs. But all this is for the short term until we have some big policy change or cleaner policies in place. We need to switch to more and more eco-friendly ways. We need to ensure every single individual is following some sort of green norms – our life, peace and progress everything is connected with the environment.
NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.