Randeep Hooda highlights the importance of preserving biodiversity and creating awareness around wildlife on the occasion of Wildlife Conservation Day (December 4). The actor and equestrian sportsman, who has been championing environmental causes be it animal welfare or wildlife protection, shares that deforestation is a major issue that needs to be addressed immediately.
“We all have to understand the importance of having all these different creatures that we share the planet with, the importance of them in the way that even if one these go missing it’ll affect us badly in some way or the other. Preserving the bio diversity is the only way we can survive, the planet can survive and there can be a future for the human race,” he says.
Hooda urges everyone to “protest against any kind of deforestation” as that means habitat loss of the wildlife.
“Loss of wildlife is the loss of delicate balance of mother earth that’ll affect us because we share the planet with them… We’ve to behave responsibly,” adds the 44-year-old.
Elaborating more on the pressing issues concerning wildlife conversation, he shares one of the biggest concerns in India in recent times is deforestation in the name of development.
“More than a thousand square kilometres of protected forest has been denotified in the last few decades, which is probably the largest chunk ever. Everybody should be alarmed, protest and appeal to the government or any ruling bodies that deforestation should be stopped, because this means millions of species of plants and animal going through a habitat loss. It seems whenever there’s a development the easiest access to government land is protected forest… We cannot replace a forest by planting trees, it’s a myth. I’m not against development. But it has to happen in the right way,” he adds.
Talking about his work as one of the CMS Ambassadors for Migratory Species, Hooda shares that because of the pandemic everything has gone for a toss but he still tries doing his best.
“I contribute to Afroz Shah’s beach cleaning effort in Versova. Wherever I go I take pictures of migratory birds or other species to tell the people through conservation photography that these things are there and they’re beautiful so let’s please try to save them,” he shares.
Ask if stories around wildlife preservation can be made into films to create more awareness and Hooda replies, “Yes films can talk about it in an entertaining way in fact I’ve thought of a couple of ideas too. But films are a source of entertainment. And filmmaking mostly is an exploitative medium of storytelling and it’s not like a documentary or other aspects of audio visual art, so one needs to be careful.”
Apart from spreading alertness among general public, on whether he also tries to make his industry colleagues aware of wildlife conservation, the actor replies, “Film industry people are mostly aware… And then of course awareness is something and doing something about it is another thing. So I feel it’s time to take the necessary steps towards saving our planet.”
Meanwhile, Hooda’s upcoming we and film projects include Inspector Avinash, Radhe and UnFair and lovely. When asked how does he balance between his shoots, equestrian activities and work as a conservationist and he says, “It’s a matter of choice…When you really love doing something and you feel towards something you inevitably end up finding time for it.”
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Author tweets @Shreya_MJ