The glitterati of tinsel town and those in power came together for a cause. The man who brought them together was philanthropist Asif Bhamla.
Political leaders Ashish Shelar, Sanjay Nirupam, Priya Dutt, Poonam Mahajan, Smita Thackeray, Piyush Goyal, and stars of the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Zarine Khan, Jackie Shroff, Smita Thackeray, SharadUgade, Sonu Sood, Raveena Tandon, Dia Mirza, Saher Bhamla, Sooraj Pancholi, Shabbir Ahluwalia, Salim-Suleiman, Armaan Malik, Pooja Batra, Raju Shrivastava, Shadab Faridi, Asif Faridi, Jyotika Tangri, Sachin Kumar Valmikan, Kushal Paul and Rupali Jagga, Gurmeet Choudhary, and Kunal Ganjawala attended the event among others.
Sanjay Dutt took to stage and went ahead and made a paper bag that he learnt to make in jail, and shared his experiences with the audiences urging them to reuse waste and save Mother Earth.
Says Asif Bhamla, “We have been organising the World Environment Day event for eight years, and we have always received tremendous support from the celebs, those in power and our partners, residents’ groups and especially the enthusiastic locals. We are elated that people will come forward to help us spread the message this World Environment Day as well. We all need to come together to make the world a better place. And to make our tomorrow secure, we all need to pledge our support to Mother Earth today.”
Added Sehar Bhamla, “World Environment Day is one of the principal vehicles through which the UN stimulates worldwide awareness for the environment and also encourages positive action. This event is one step in the right direction.”
Organised by the Bhamla Foundation, and supported by the Ministry of Environment (Govt. of Maharashtra) and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, the event, thronging with people from all fronts, had an interesting and varied line-up of day-long activities.
Zarine han flagged off a massive cycling rally from Bandra Bandstand to Carter Road, an indoor cycling workout on the Carter Road promenade, stalls on environment awareness and preservation, keynote sessions by noted environmentalists and a tree sapling distribution drive among others. The local Residents Association Groups were also felicitated at the event for their role in preserving the environment.
The celebrities were very vocal in not just acknowledging Asif amla’s environment preservation initiative, but also in their stand to preserve the environment. Said Sanjay Dutt, “Even if research never excited you, nor did facts and figures, the least you can do is look around yourself. It is so hot that you cannot live without a fan or an air conditioner. Today, if we do not cut down pollution and stop damaging the environment, we don’t need to bother about our future generations. We ourselves are in big trouble. So it is time we act today.”
Arjun Kapoor’s words were inspiring. “Recycling water, planting trees; the possibility of us making that change exists,” he averred. “Let us get out and be the difference. The solution is within us.”
Saif Ali Khan put it simply with: “The change in the environment is our biggest threat. We consist of 1.2 billion of the world’s population. Surely, we can make the difference,” he asserted.
Sonu Nigam said, “I don’t waste water, I save electricity, keep my environment clean and make sure my son understands the value of hygiene; but now, our responsibility is much larger. Climatic changes, extreme heat and cold, floods, famines, we are responsible for them. Respect mother earth today.”
Sachin Tendulkar‘s inspiring words were: “Let each of us do our bit. We can slowly and steadily make the change and difference to our planet.” Suniel Shetty looked at the environment as “A heritage and lineage passed on to us”, and wanted people to “contribute to save Mother Earth.” Yo Yo Honey Singh, in his characteristic style expressed, “It is too hot to even play basketball today. Look and see the warning. Stop global warming. Act today.” “Natural disasters occur because we play with nature. Let us change our mindset and change our future,” said comedian-actor Kapil Sharma.
Poonam Mahajan wishes that trees granted Wi-Fi so that we would see the need to plant them. “Unfortunately, trees only give oxygen,” she stated. “And breathing is the most important thing we do. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago,” she said. “And today is the second-best time.”
Farhan Akhtar hit the bull’s-eye when he asked us a question… “If something untoward happens in an area where you live, you can shift, but if it happens to the earth, where will you go?
Randhir Kapoor got nostalgic when he talked of the times when the Bandra promenade, where he now stood was once beach and sand. “Today, there is no beach, no sand. If we don’t conserve our environment, soon there will be nothing.” Indeed!