Bollywood actress Bhumi Pednekar rose to prominence by playing headstrong small-town women in the comedy dramas Sonchiriya, Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Bala to mention a few. She was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Female Debut for the 2015 romantic comedy Dum Laga ke Haisha.
Pednekar recently spoke at length about the vital role India will play in global response to climate emergency at the Climate Week in New York, USA. Though perturbed about not being able to attend the summit in person, she’s glad to have drawn the focus to the essential function India will perform within the international response to the local weather emergency.
She shares, “My session was about how people in places of power, including celebrities and influencers, can start a conversation at the centre stage. I also spoke about how I, as an individual, began my journey as a climate warrior and why I’m so passionate about it and the different ways we can create noise, spread information and awareness.”
Bhumi feels, as a public figure, she can help the cause. “I’m an influencer. There are people who want to listen to me. I need to use that power to benefit humanity,” the Dum Laga Ke Haisha actress stated.
The actress began her journey as an eco-warrior many years ago and believes that the time has come for individuals to start taking the local weather disaster seriously. “I started this journey at a young age and it has been a solo one. Climate change is real. We’re in a crisis and we need action right away. That can only happen when people from all walks of life come together and realise that this is the largest threat that humanity has ever faced,” Bhumi elaborates.
The fact that climate change has finally become part of the mainstream narrative gives hope to the the Man’s World star. In this context, she says, “The news headlines in the last one month were primarily about forest fires in different countries. Various parts of India received extremely heavy rainfall this year. Monsoon is important but the way it happened this year. It has created widespread destruction of crops, properties and human and animal life. Today, natural calamities are man-made. Through the media and influencers, we can convert the way people think.”
Bhumi Pednekar also shared few changes that she has adapted in her lifestyle owing to the climate emergency: “I’m trying to lead a sustainable life. It’s not always easy and there are moments when I wonder if I’ve slipped. At home, I’m like a school teacher making sure that water doesn’t get wasted. We segregate our waste at the source. Single use plastics are a big no in my family. Even my vanity is single use plastic free. We make sure that plastics are recycled. We compost our wet waste at home and make fodder out of it. If I have to pick up coffee from an outlet, I take my reusable mug. I carry my own water bottle and cutlery.”
About inculcating new habits and making changes in one’s day-to-day living, Bhumi feels, “It’s not a life of inconvenience. You end up saving so much money and become guilt-free. It’s all about going 15 years back. We need to adapt ourselves to the life we lived a decade-and-a-half ago.”