Randeep Hooda’s message on World Conservation Day: Get off your ass
Randeep Hooda has played many roles in his ‘reel’ life. He was Begum’s lethal love interest in Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, a shirtless sensation in Jism 2 and Rang Rasiya. He was a soft-hearted Haryanvi kidnapper in Highway, and more recently, the black-market mercenary in Extraction, Netflix’s most-watched film ever.
In his ‘real’ life, however, he plays the role of an environmental champion, as the UN Environment’s Ambassador for Aquatic Migratory Species.
Randeep is also widely known for love for animals, particularly horses and dogs. His mare, Dream Girl, who is one of the nine injured horses he adopted and nursed back to health, went on to win him two gold medals and one silver medal in equestrian tournaments.
In a recent conversation with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, the actor and environment champion speaks about his roles on and off-screen on YourStory Inspirations series.
Watch the full conversation on YourStory Inspirations series here:
We all need to be heroes for the Earth
It’s not hard to see why Randeep takes his role as a conservationist very seriously. “Our planet is under massive strain. Should the global population push the figure of 9.6 billion by 2050, we will need three Earths to sustain the current lifestyles for everyone,” he says.
Today, more than one billion people still do not have access to fresh water. India, which is home to 18 percent of the world’s population, has only four percent of global water resources.
The generation of waste and pollutants also poses a challenge to the environment. India generates 1.50 lakh metric tonnes of solid waste every day. Of the total collected waste, only 20 percent is processed and the remaining 80 percent is dumped in landfill sites.
On being a part of the world’s largest beach cleanup project
Yet another red flag for the environment is plastic waste. Eight million tonnes of harmful plastic waste end up in the oceans every year, and the war against plastic is another cause championed by Randeep.
The actor is known for accompanying Afroz Shah — a young Indian lawyer from Mumbai synonymous with the world’s largest beach clean-up project — on his weekend beach cleaning efforts.
“For more than three years, Afroz has been leading volunteers in manually picking up rubbish from Versova beach [in Mumbai] and teaching sustainable waste practices to villagers and people living in slums along the coastline and the creeks leading into it, and I’m proud to lend a helping hand whenever I can,” he adds.
We need to be ‘action’ heroes of conservation
Randeep also believes that everyone can play a hero’s role for the Earth, explaining how even little changes could bring about big change.
“Avoid wasting water. Don't keep the tap running when you're brushing your teeth or when you're shaving. Don't buy bottled water. Instead, carry your own bottle. Avoid using plastic bags; carry a cloth bag with you. Avoid buying products with smaller packaging, like sachets of shampoos or ketchup. With little things like that, we can make a huge difference to the environment. This is our only planet, and we need to do every little bit that we can to save it.” he adds.
Advising people to ‘be the change’ and do something about the problem instead about complaining about it, he says, “My aim is to get people to get up and do things. I aim for less talk and more action.”
“Get off your ass,” he urges.
Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta