Keeping in tune with this year’s Earth Day campaign on environmental and climate literacy, National Geographic channel (NG) announced the launch of its initiative “Mission Blue”. Addressing the cause of water scarcity, its objective is to spread awareness and empower people with knowledge on what they can do to help impact lives of many deprived of this precious resource.
Expressing happiness on being the campaign’s key partner and face, actor Farhan Akhtar said the issue was very close to his heart. “I do believe that water scarcity and its urgent conservation are the most pressing problems facing humanity in terms of depleting natural resources. It affects each and everyone of us on a daily basis irrespective of who we are.”
Talking about how the campaign intends to address the problem, Farhan said, “Majority of the people are absolutely unaware of the issue. What is required is to make them realise and change essentially their mindset and behaviour.” When asked to elaborate he cited some examples. “Our simple and what we perceive mundane tasks like brushing teeth, showering, soaping and shampooing actually consume a lot of water but most are simply ignorant about them. Becoming aware and learning how much we can conserve by switching off tap while using soap, shampoo and brush is bound to set many thinking. Likewise instead of using running water to clean vehicles, half bucket of water with a cloth is enough.” He said the water footprint feature in bluemission.in will make one aware of average water consumption while offering tips on saving it. “The idea is to convince; make people pledge to support and be part of water conservation.”
Farhan says as an individual too he makes effort. “My family, children and I consciously ensure minimum water wastage. Now it has become a habit. It is amazing how we learn from children. In a restaurant recently I was leaving half a glass of water on the table. My 10-year-old daughter said, ‘Aren’t you going to drink that?’ I promptly realised the futility of filling the glass when I was thirsty for half glass only.”
Apart from Farhan exhorting people, NG will bring four short films too by Imtiaz Ali, Hansal Mehta, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and Madhur Bhandarkar to creatively drive home the message. “Tackling varied aspects of water conservation these stories and characters will deal with it in their own way.” Farhan is sure it will prove fruitful. “Storytelling in these shorts will engage viewers, thereby make the passing of the message easier and impactful.”
When asked about water wastage in rain scenes in films, Farhan pointed out “of course, it is water but not potable.” Will he as a member of the fraternity convince filmmakers to go green, he replied, “At our individual level, we can and should make an attempt but it is up to studio owners to make an effort to conserve resources.”
Talking about his films, Farhan is eagerly waiting for his next, Lucknow Central, to be released in September 15. “It has an interesting storyline about jail inmates forming a band.”