Raise a toast to Jackie Shroff, Dia Mirza, Deepshikha Deshmukh, Alia Bhatt, Aamir Khan and Rahul Bose who have been doing their bit to make the planet healthy
Jackie Shroff’s idea for conserving the environment, reducing pollution and spreading the word to plant more trees is unique. While most celebs stylishly flaunt fancy accessories, the actor wears a little Spider plant in a pot tied to a black thread around his neck. When we asked him about it, the actor said, “This plant is unique. It cuts away elements like benzene from the air and gives you oxygen in return. Recently, I learnt about this and I felt I should have it around me. I planted it in this custom-made pot, which my friend gifted me. I water it every day. I wear it around my neck, but people can keep a bigger sized plant in their cars and also as decorative pieces in their homes. It’s a lot better than keeping an expensive statue or a piece of art.”
Apart from her savvy use of social media to talk about her life and work, Alia Bhatt has slowly emerged as a celebrity who has her eco-sensitivity in the right place and knows how to make a positive difference. Be it speaking up for the well-being and adoption of stray animals, amplifying COVID-19 related information on her social media platforms or speaking up against plastic waste, Alia is evolving as a messenger of change. Her love for animals and eco-diversity manifests in multiple posts. She may be just beginning her journey as a green warrior but every message she puts out about the far-reaching impact of plastic waste for instance creates a ripple across her legions of followers. She also famously took the pledge to go plastic-free, supports mass drives to keep beaches garbage-free and has been using her status as a youth icon to address a wide range of issues that need to be mainstreamed.
Producer and entrepreneur Deepshikha Deshmukh often channels the green wisdom of Mother Earth to find solutions for sustainable living and believes we cannot achieve wellness if we are making the planet unwell. She initiated her beauty brand, ‘Love Organically’ in 2016 and makes sure that every creation in her cruelty-free products is devoid of parabens, silicons and harsh chemicals. She also uses biodegradable and sustainable packaging as much as possible. At Pooja Entertainment, she makes sure that the use of plastics is minimum and her production house was the first to distribute metal bottles on the film sets of her production Coolie No.1. She also uses her social media platforms to speak about the importance of wildlife conservation, sustainable farming practices, and afforestation often and is often seen participating in plantation drives.
For Dia Mirza, the meaning and purpose of life expand beyond her work as an actor and a producer. She is a Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Advocate and Environment Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, and for her sustainability is not just a buzzword but a calling. She has been speaking about the preservation of rivers, forests, and wildlife habitats for years and tirelessly uses her multiple platforms to amplify the importance of sustainable choices, be it at the individual, corporate or political level. She walks her talk by living according to the tenets she endorses. That includes using bio-degradable hygiene products, going chemical and plastic-free, conserving water and energy, repurposing old furniture and clothes, segregating garbage, composting, and planting over 8000 trees and counting. Even her wedding was based on a zero-waste design concept.
Aamir has been quietly leading a movement for a drought-free Maharashtra for years with ‘Paani Foundation,’ his non-profit organization which is active in the area of drought prevention and watershed management. He founded the organization with wife Kiran Rao to address the environmental causes behind drought and the subsequent devastation of thirst, hunger, debt, forced migration and ruined crops. The foundation has researched hundreds of villages and discovered how mismanagement of water and natural resources, along with climate change, causes drought-like conditions. It hence aims to find scientific solutions to eradicate this crisis and provides methods of water conservation, water management, and environmental restoration to rural communities. Despite great odds and little publicity, his foundation continues to bring people together so that they can own and solve these issues as one.
Apart from his notable success in the cinema of substance, actor Rahul Bose takes his role as an earth activist quite seriously. Much before social media became an instrument of activism, Bose was knee-deep in relief efforts in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands post the horrific 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. So moved was he by the experience that he launched the Andaman and Nicobar Scholarship Initiative to support the education of underprivileged children who can be exemplary earth citizens if given a chance. Passionate about the environment and parity in all walks of life, Bose believes all issues are interconnected and is the founder and chairman of The Group of Groups, an umbrella organisation for 51 Mumbai charitable organisations and NGOs. He also supports various organisations that work for a more inclusive social and environmental ecosystem. He also. became the first Indian Oxfam global ambassador in 2007. In 2009, he toured Canada to speak on global climate change under the auspices of the Climate Action Network.