Dia Mirza is undoubtedly a ‘beauty with heart’. Besides being an actress and producer, she is also one of the ‘Green Celebrities’. “I don’t wish to restrict myself or be defined only as an actress or a producer or an ex-Miss India. I feel that an individual has many purposes, and for me, one of it revolves around doing something that makes a larger impact,” says Dia.
In a bid to raise awareness about the shrinking space for wild elephants, Dia along with Vivek Menon, CEO at Wildlife Trust of India, launched a “gaj yatra” campaign. “It all started when I was a child,” she recalls. “Most kids don’t talk about environment or nature because they are encouraged to talk about their marks, exams, etc. But I went to a very different school and have been brought up by unique parents. At school, we were taught under the banyan tree where we were taught to be sensitive to our environment, encouraged to not become consumerists and taught the whole idea of peaceful co-existence.”
Dia loves earth-friendly high fashion. “I am very conscious about what I wear, eat, etc. Instead of a regular ‘plastic’ toothbrush, I use a bamboo toothbrush. I also don’t use make-up products that are tested on animals or have ingredients derived from animals. In normal day-to-day life, I don’t apply make-up at all. I live by the philosophy of recycling, reusing and reducing avoidable waste. I have a garbage management system at home and we keep an eye on whatever needs to be thrown out,” she says.
Being in the Limelight and humanitarianism
Ask her whether being a celebrity who is also associated with a cause, in any way takes the limelight away from the latter and she unlocks her phone to show us Bittu Sahgal’s (noted environmental activist and writer) message appreciating her effort. “Not at all. I feel it is, in fact, an added advantage. The cause is always bigger and nobler. Messages like these are my oxygen. I personally feel that Amitabh Bachchan had a great role in eradicating polio from our country. I don’t believe that I have a bigger sphere like him but even if I manage to influence one or two minds then I’ll feel that I have achieved my purpose.”
Playing Manyata Dutt
Dia, who has acted with Sanjay Dutt in films like Parineeta and Lage Raho Munna Bhai, will be playing the role of the actor’s wife in his biopic.
“I believe Manyata is someone who has a strong sense of self. Ranbir has transformed himself into Sanjay totally but I don’t think others need to do the same. I have interacted with her over the years and I think she is the anchor in Sanjay’s life. But I have perceived Manyata through the wonderful writing (by Abhijat and Raju) that’s been written about her,” says the actress.