World Environment Day | Jackie Shroff: My plants are my pets, let’s make the globe a lovely garden

ISLAMABAD, JUNE 5th (Online): On the occasion of World Environment Day, actor Jackie Shroff expresses his love for nature and efforts towards environment conservation.

Call Jackie Shroff the unofficial and self-appointed ambassador of environment conservation in India, and it won’t be an exaggeration. Wherever the actor goes — a wedding, a birthday bash, a Holi or Diwali party or even on reality shows — he’s always seen carrying a potted plant with him. And if he can’t carry a mini plant, you’d spot him wearing a spider plant necklace.

“My plants are my family, my pets. They also need shade and water. We have to nurture and take care of them. They give us oxygen, so they are your buddies. Let’s make the globe a lovely garden,” says Shroff, who started an online campaign in 2020 through an Instagram page called ‘Ped Lagao Bhidu’ encouraging people to plant more trees.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, the actor expresses gratitude for being in a position as a public figure and be able to make a difference and do his bit towards environment.

“I consider myself lucky to have been given a space where I can speak about environment, and people listen [to me]. Before becoming an actor, I worked at a travel agency and at that time, even when I said something meaningful, no one would listen to. So, I’m thankful to everyone for making me what I am today, and even if a few of them listen to what I say about saving environment and implement that, my purpose is solved,” says Shroff, owner of an organic farm where he grows plants, trees and herbs.
The 66-year-old, has time and again spoken about preserving the environment for future generations, and actively participated in plantation drives in school. As for his personal initiative, he wants to bet plastic pollution. “I want to tell people that refrain from making plastic and taking it in any form. Ask the shopkeepers to stop using it.

Cut it at the roots. Mere dimaag mein, mera jungle mera jahaan hai. I don’t like plastic, neither single use nor multiple use. I keep telling my friends to avoid using it as much as they can,” stresses the actor, who was roped in as a goodwill ambassador for All Living Things Environmental Film Festival in 2021.

A major issue that bothers the actor and him feels is a big hinderance in saving environment is the presence of microplastics in tap water and soil. He explains, “Global tap water contamination with nanoplastics (omnipresent pollutants in natural environments) is very high now. The data will shock you. I even sometimes see the cattle eating plastic on the road whereas they should be eating grass. Also, we need to maintain the quality of top soil. Grassland is as important as trees around the forest, but people put plastic in it and ruin the soil, which is very dangerous.

People need to understand that maintaining top soil is important because that’s giving all the nutrition to our plants. Let’s understand the cycle and put our feet on the ground. Plant more trees.”