Dia Mirza has been felicitated for her efforts this year at an awards show and is also on the board of directors of an MNC to look into environmental concerns as part of social initiatives. Love for the environment is something that’s part of her upbringing. CS spoke to Dia about her concerns and efforts:
An early bird
I think my awareness about the environment stems from my upbringing. My dad who was an industrial fair designer once got an assignment to redesign a factory. When my dad went to see the site he saw that the factory was dumping its waste in the nearby river. Seeing that, he simply refused to take on the project. My school was also instrumental in raising awareness about global warming. Way back in 1987-88, we were taught about not using plastic bags and so on.
Travelling across the country for environmental issues has been an eye-opener. All those who crib about the present state of affairs in India should see some of the amazing work happening at grassroot levels. I remember going to Rajasthan where a young girl managed the water supply level. The whole village looked upto her, and respected her efforts immensely. What’s doubly great is that women are drivers of change in rural India.
I remember once going to a place called Narwara in Rajasthan. A group had built a check-in dam in the village as a part of social initiative, and we had gone for a village meeting to enquire about its functioning and maintenance. Surprisingly, when I spoke to the women about the idea of building a toilet in their homes, they were against it. They told me that going to the riverside every morning to answer nature’s call was a better idea as it was the time when all the women got together for some socialising. These women were not allowed to step outside their homes by the men folk and that was the only time when they got to go out and meet each other. I couldn’t control my laughter when I heard this.
Nature inspires me in every way. When I see the rains from my living room window, I feel motivated to paint or listen to some good music. The best part is the sense of oneness. No one ever feels out of place in a natural setting. I love outdoors, be it the forests or mountains. There is so much natural beauty in the country.
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