New Delhi: Actor and Climate Warrior Bhumi Pednekar, who has also recently become the National Advocate for United Nations Development Programme for Sustainable Development Goals in India talks about her choice for being an environmentalist and why she thought of lending her voice to the cause. She said,
“I will not be a silent spectator to the impacts of climate change and knowing fully well that I can contribute and do my bit to protect the planet.”
The 33-year-old actor, who is known for using her social media to create awareness about climate change and why each one of us must learn to co-exist with mother nature further said, “I’m a restless advocate for the environment and I feel a deep sense of responsibility towards my planet.”
Ms Pednekar also said,
I will never compromise on the kind of roles and films that I choose. Similarly, I will never compromise on raising awareness about climate change in India. I’m not okay living in a state of climate emergency and I want to leave behind a healthier planet for our future generations.
Explaining her motive to be an climate advocate, she further said,
I feel as an actor I need to be known for the work that I do on screen and I also feel that off camera, I need to be vocal about the need to save our earth and mobilise others to do so. I want to fight for our existence and get as many people to do so too. That’s my identity actually. That’s my mission in life.
Recently, on the occasion of world environment day, Ms Pednekar planted 3000 saplings across Maharashtra.
This is not the first time, Ms Pednekar has lend her voice for the environment subject. Last year, as a personal initiative, Bhumi Pednekar started a pan-India campaign called Climate Warrior, to raise awareness about conserving and protecting the environment. The online initiative aimed at engaging all citizens in becoming more aware of climate change and environmentally friendly lifestyle choices.
In the recent interview with Team Banega Swasth India on the occasion of World Health Day, which is marked in April, we asked Ms Pednekar about Sustainable Development Goals and how far India is from achieving these goals. She said,
I feel that India is a climate positive country. Our leaders have been speaking about the climate crisis, we have made some strong climate policies. But is it enough? No, the problem is so large that we really can’t quantify. When we think of 17 SDGs and 169 targets, they all are achievable, but we need to know that the target is 2030 and it is right here. We started in 2016, since the inception of SDGs, we have seen a lot of progress, we have seen many goals becoming pivotal talking points globally, we have seen change in individual behaviour, change in economic policies and reforms. But I feel like that the problem is that the solution doesn’t just lie in world leaders coming together or in policies, it is also about awareness, about individuals knowing that we are living in times where the planet is on a tipping point. What we really need is an equal world for all genders, generations, species that coexist with us. We need future generations to have access to natural clean resources, water, clean energy, nutritious food, healthcare. We need all this for the most vulnerable communities as well. It is a long journey ahead, but I am extremely motivated by the work that has been done so far.
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 – theLGBTQ 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 currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) 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, fightmalnutrition, 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 likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.