Green Carpet

Read about the popular faces that are using their star (and muscle) power to drive sustainable change and action

Amala Akkineni

Actress Amala Akkineni rescued her first animal at the age of six, and hasn’t stopped since. After her marriage to Telugu star Nagarjuna, she moved to Hyderabad in 1992, where the paucity of animal shelters or animal welfare services spurred her into founding Blue Cross Hyderabad. Now in its 28th year of operation, Blue Cross Hyderabad has rescued and treated over 435,000 animals, worked with government departments to improve animal welfare, inspected and supervised animal trials in labs, trained government workers and other people involved in animal rescue, and conducted many outreach and awareness programs. While animal welfare takes centre stage in her life, Akkineni has, at various points of time, also been involved with organisations taking up a wide spectrum of causes, ranging from HIV to child and widow empowerment. Her dedication and compassion towards both humans and animals is worthy of our admiration.

Nandita Das

Nandita Das is an actor and director with real social cred. Armed with a master’s in social work, she made her way into the world of film, looking at it as a medium that really enabled her to spread her message. In the sphere of social work, she is best known as the face of the Dark is Beautiful and its successor, India’s Got Colour, campaigns. Das has consistently spoken out against “colorism” in India, expressing surprise and disappointment at the fact that in a country of largely dark-skinned people, we still put a premium on fairness. Additionally, Das has directed a 90-second public interest film on rainwater harvesting for the Centre for Science and Environment, acted in a documentary called “A Drop of Life” that promotes water literacy, and spoken out against the cutting down of trees in Mumbai’s Aarey Forest.

Ronnie and Zarina Screwvala

An entrepreneur and towering media personality, Ronnie Screwvala wears multiple hats but we are here to applaud his stupendous work with Swades Foundation – a non-profit organization which he and his wife Zarina founded in 2013. Swades works towards empowering rural India – largely farmers – with ethical practices and modern technology. By focussing on the overall development of a village, Swades has positively impacted over 5,00,000 lives in more than 2,500 hamlets across Raigad district of Maharashtra – this includes providing medical facilities, supporting schools and anganwadis, constructing toilets, funding water projects, assisting farmers with modern ways of irrigation, paddy cultivation and so much more! Dedicated to the well being of our rural landscape and enabling reverse migration, Ronnie and Zarina are the kind of power couple we want to cheer for.

Gul Panag

With her electric car (Mahindra e20) and a SVA-GRIHA certified green home (an initiative by TERI -The Energy and Research Institute and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy), actor and politician Gul Panag checks very important boxes that form the present-day idea of conscious living. Surrounded by nature in Mulshi, Gul’s home is one of the few certified eco-homes in the country that is off the grid, sustained by solar power. The house also harvests rainwater, maximizes natural light and heat, facilitates composting, has large double glazed windows and an all-round ventilation mechanism that eliminates the use of air conditioners. Not to mention, it has a backyard bearing herbs and veggies!
The ever so woke Insta celebrity, Gul’s mindful ways are the way to a healthier future.

Sudha Murthy

One of the foremost champions for a ‘swachch’ Bharat, Padma Shri Sudha Murthy has helped build more than 16,000 toilets in rural districts across India. She was moved by the plight of the women in rural parts of India, who were forced to relieve themselves in the bushes – a health and environmental hazard that is still a reality for many villages. Sudha Murthy was personally, first struck by the problem of sanitation when she found there to be no ladies toilet in her engineering college in Hubli in the 1960s. But since she assumed the role of Chairperson at the Infosys Foundation in the mid 90s, the philanthropist and author has made sanitation a key area of her social work apart from education and culture. Did we mention we love her writing too?

Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao

For the first time in 10 years, 2019 saw no families migrate out of Maharashtra’s Dipewadgaon due to drought or unemployment. This is one of the many success stories coming out of the state’s interior villages positively impacted by Aamir and Kiran’s Paani Foundation. Paani started in 2016 with only 3 tehsils, but has scaled up its work to serve more than 4,000 villages across Maharashtra. These villages have created an aggregate storage capacity for more than 10,000 crore litres of water by way of dams and trenches with Paani’s assistance. As an extension of Aamir’s popular TV show Satyamev Jayate, the Foundation also conducts a competition called the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup, in which villages compete to be awarded for their water conservation work. The REWARD is of course, brimming lakes and wells!

Tanishaa Mukerji

We love tracking Tanishaa Mukerji’s green crusade on Instagram. As the co-founder of the NGO Stamp, along with her mother and actor Tanuja, Tanishaa has been planting saplings, as part of her environmental efforts through Stamp that started in 2016. “We believe in encouraging everyone to put their stamp on this Earth by planting trees, as a symbol of themselves, so our future generations can connect with the environment as much as they do with their iPhone,” she quips in the caption.

Randeep Hooda

A regular volunteer at the Versova Beach Clean Up drives since 2017, Randeep Hooda walks the talk. One look at his social media accounts, and you’ll see him arms deep in plastic filth, trying to do his bit to actively help with the sorry state of our shores, as well as raise awareness against plastic pollution. From adopting strays as his pet family, switching to a bamboo toothbrush as a start to going plastic-free to his evident love for documenting and rallying for wildlife conservation by associating with PROWL, an NGO for Tiger Conservation, Randeep scores high on our eco-radar!