What good is development minus clean air, water? asks Richa

By Arundhuti Banerjee

Thimphu, Aug 26 (IANS) Bollywood actress Richa Chadha has questioned urban development at the cost of the green carpet, and raised concern over how the basic human need for water and clean air is becoming a luxury thanks to increasing pollution.

"I feel traumatised seeing how we treat nature. I am not saying this because, now that I am an actress, these are the things I should say. I am one of those people who would always not only wear natural fabric and I choose cotton over silk and leather. I am against a lifestyle that goes against nature. Although I have a luxury car I carpool, which I feel is the a logical solution to stay resourceful and control pollution," Richa told IANS here, at the Mountain Echoes festival 2019.

At the festival, change and how rapid urbanisation was affecting the world's green carpet, as well as creating the water crisis, were important topics of discussion

On her first visit to Bhutan, Richa was impressed by the clean and peaceful environment of the country. She said that she felt like settling down in Bhutan because the country maintained its natural wealth.

"I live in Mumbai, where trees are cut to construct highrises and people have to go to Khandala to chill out during the rains. They forget that Mumbai once used to be like that. (It is now) a city that is becoming a concrete jungle and we have no plan where are we," said Richa.

While weather change and floods concern Richa, she also questioned the growing air pollution in Delhi, a city where she grew up.

"We really need to wake up and ask our government why can't we breathe clean air in Delhi. The Delhi I grew up in -- the one that (late former chief minister) Sheila Dixit had built -- had green cover, which decreased pollution. I think the last time I saw a lush green Delhi was in 2012. Since then, pollution has increased. Look at the air quality of the city now!" said the actress.

"What will we do with development if we don't have basic things like water and clean air?" she summed up.

(Arundhuti Banerjee is in Bhutan on an invitation by the Mountain Echoes Festival. She can be contacted at arundhuti.b@ians.in)

--IANS

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