New Delhi: At the NDTV-Dettol Banega Swasth India’s Lakshya – Sampoorn Swasthya Ka telethon, Dia Mirza, Actor, Eco-Investor, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador & UN Secretary-General’s Advocate for SDGs joined the discussion on ‘women’s health’. On the panel, Ms Mirza spoke about being a new mother, the challenges and the need to focus on the health of our environment. Talking about COVID-19 and the challenges she faced as a new mother, she said,
The pandemic made being a new mother very difficult time for me. The hardest thing possible, I have ever done was not being able to hold my own child for almost two-n-half months. I was only being able to meet him twice a week because it was in the middle of the pandemic and there were many protocols and rules.
Highlighting mother’s guilt and the need to bring in a change in the society, Ms Mirza added,
More often than not woman are expected to take more time out when the child is born and that’s where this mother or mom guilt comes from. I think, it is essential for the whole family to be involved in the process and not just till the child is born. The real work happens after you have deliver the baby.
Explaining the link between the environment and the health of the mothers, Ms Mirza said,
Whenever we talk about health or maternal health, no one really talks about the environment health and how it impacts women. When you are pregnant, you are breathing polluted air, you are eating polluted food and all of that impacts health significantly. And now there is more and more research that says that now we need to protect environmental health in order to protect human health, especially women and expecting women’s health.
Talking about the need to invest in the environment, Ms Mirza added,
Only way we can secure our health, peace, our future or our children is if we invest in the environment and it’s important to use money wisely. We all need to learn the fine print of every aspect of consumption. We must question where it’s coming from.
Dia Mirza signed off the discussion by saying that it is important for women to know better about the things they are undergoing so that they are able to cope better. She added,
Be it postpartum depression or anything after the delivery, if women talk about the things and are more aware about it, I feel, they will be able to deal and cope with it better.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. 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 will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that 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 the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.