World Environment Day: Dia Mirza says people must start protecting what Mother Nature has provided
Former Miss Asia Pacific Dia Mirza has been involved in social work and spreading awareness about environment-related issues for over a decade now and the actress has won several awards including the IIFA 2012 Green Award for her contribution to the cause. She has also been appointed as brand ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India and UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India among others.
On the occasion of World Environment Day 2018, Zee Business's Anil Singhvi, Managing Editor at Zee Business, had a candid talk with actress and former Miss Asia Pacific Dia Mirza. Dia has been involved in social work and spreading awareness about environment-related issues for over a decade now and the actress has won several awards including the IIFA 2012 Green Award for her contribution to the cause. She has also been appointed as brand ambassador for the Wildlife Trust of India and UN Environment’s Goodwill Ambassador for India among others. She also revealed that she has adopted habits that are tailored to save the environment as much as possible, including the use of bio-degradable sanitary napkins and use of metal water bottles rather than disposable plastic ones. Here are the edited excerpts of the interview:
Q: You have been involved with environment related issues for quite long time. What is the reason behind it and how did it start?
A: I have been directly associated with environment-related issues for past 10 years. In fact, everything depends on the kind of environment in which you have grown up. What you learnt from the family and at school. The discussion on climate change started back in the 1980s, the time when we were taught a lot about the concerns related to the environment in schools like plastics are non-biodegradable materials and the process of composting. Generally, people try to implement things that they learnt as a child.
I always consider myself as being part of nature. Hope that people will also realise the same and start protecting the materials that are provided free of cost by Mother Nature.
Q: Actually, everyone knows what should be done and why it should be done. Despite this, they do not pay heed to reason. How can we change this notion in the people?
A: Rumi has said, “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop” and that's why I think they should take inspiration from those who are working on these lines. In fact, the action of every person is connected to the other and no one's efforts can be termed as less. I have a number of examples to cite and two of them are Aditya Mukherjee and Rajeshwari Singh.
Aditya Singh is a 14-year-old boy who has started a movement in Delhi in which he goes to institutions and industrialists and asks them to stop using their plastic stock. Similarly, Rajeshwari Singh, a 32-Year-old woman, has walked from Gujarat to Delhi with an aim to raise awareness about plastic pollution and to catalyse people to stop the usage of single-use plastic items. She undertook the journey on foot interacting with locals from the cities she passed.
Interestingly, Singh didn't carry a water bottle during her entire trip and was able to get water almost every 500 meters on her way to the capital city. She says that people keep water in earthen pots on the highways so that anyone who is thirsty can get water.
Q: When it comes to the environment, would you like to give a message to our viewers?
A: If we want, we can reduce or end use of plastic in our everyday life with ease. For the purpose, I would like to share my personal choices and think that they may apply some of them in their lives.
• I don't use plastic brushes, in fact, I have replaced them with a Bamboo brush.
• I don't use plastic earbuds and have replaced them with earbuds made of bamboo and cotton.
• I have replaced regular sanitary napkins, which are mostly made of plastics, with bio-degradable napkins.
• I carry my personal metallic water bottle so that I can refill it wherever I get a filter. This has helped me to say no to packaged plastic water bottles.
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• Apart from this, whenever I go to the restaurant and order a drink then I always ask the waiter not to provide a plastic straw to me.