New Delhi: Over 50 per cent of India’s population is below the age of 25 and over 65 per cent is below the age of 35. For a nation this young, it is important to provide the youth with a platform to voice their views on the issues that matter to them the most. From health, nutrition, mental and physical wellbeing to climate change, the youth of today are not just grappling with legacy problems that are not their creation but are also taking on the challenge of building a sustainable future for themselves. In a freewheeling conversation with the Banega Swasth India team, the young star cast of ‘The Archies’ shares their views on a wide ranging issues and the role they see for themselves in preserving the environment and building a healthy India.
Here are five takeaways from what the members of the ‘Archies’ gang said:
1. Suhana Khan On Overall Wellbeing And The Need To Be Environmentally Conscious
Suhana Khan who plays Veronica described herself as an “overthinker” and said that she is a very “anxious person”. Explaining how she deals with this in her own way and the important role of physical fitness and wellbeing, she said, “For me, working out or doing anything physical is more about the mind than your body. Sometimes I’ll be in a really bad mood or anxious about something because I am a very anxious person and I worry a lot over small things. So, when, I go to the gym and I’m working out for that one hour, nothing else matters. It is like a gift to yourself.”
From physical wellbeing to protecting our environment, Ms Khan also highlighted the detrimental role that fast fashion plays in degrading the eco-system. She cited Actor Alia Bhatt as an example and said, “Recently, Alia Bhatt wore her wedding saree again to receive her national award. As somebody with a platform who has an influence, I thought that was incredible with a much-needed message. She did that and she took a stand towards sustainability while advocating for that. If Alia Bhatt can re-wear her wedding saree then we can also repeat an outfit for a party, we don’t need to buy a new outfit. We don’t realise how much waste is involved in making new garments. It really impacts our bio-diversity and environment, so it’s very important.”
2. Khushi Kapoor On Following The 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Khushi Kapoor who plays Betty Cooper said that the society should come together and make a difference in conserving our planet. She said, “It is the small things that matter a lot, we should look at conserving water, we should use our own water bottle and ditch the plastic bottles completely. We all should adopt the fundamentals of recycling, reusing and reducing, on a day-to-day basis. These are the small things that will help make a difference.”
3. Agastya Nanda On The Need For Every Individual To Be Responsible For Their Actions
Agastya Nanda who plays Archie explained the need to protect our one and only planet and said, “The problem is till the time we start to see changes happening around us in the environment, we don’t do anything. We think, all is good. We all should be responsible for our actions. This is the one planet we have and we should do our bit to protect it. It doesn’t matter what is your age, if you have put your mind and heart to something, you can change the world.”
4. Mihir Ahuja On Healthy Eating And Overall Wellbeing
Explaining the role of healthy eating and the importance of good balance in life, Mihir Ahuja aka Jughead Jones in the film said, “It is very important in life to create a balance, one should be eating everything – it should not be just one kind of food. We all should be aware of what’s good and bad for our health and that’s why the balance is important.”
5. Aditi Dot On The Role Youngsters Can Play In Saving The Planet
Lastly, Aditi Dot (Ethel Muggs in the film) stressed on the role youngsters should take on, in order to save the planet and said, “Instead of putting the blame on individuals, we need to come together and call out people and big companies who are doing the damage to the planet. We youngsters should take charge and save the planet.”
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which in its Season 10 is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Ayushmann Khurrana. 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 a world post 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 well-being, 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.