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Vidya Balan campaigns for sanitation in UP, Bihar

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Vidya Balan.

Lucknow: Bollywood actress Vidya Balan, who is the national sanitation brand ambassador, along with with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav flagged off an initiative titled “Changing Behavior” Creating Sanitation Change Leaders” here on Tuesday. The project, which aims to make 100 villages in the country’s most populous state open defecation free, is backed by RB (formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser) India as part of its nationwide ‘Dettol Banega Swachh India’ national initiative, Pehel, a division of Shri Puranchandra Gupta Smarak Trust that has been actively involved in awareness generation and the state government.

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“For the past two years, i have dedicated myself towards raising awareness around importance of hygiene and to stop open defecation. I am really proud to be a part of this campaign which is taking a different route of engaging with stakeholders and creating change leaders at community level to bring about this behavior change,” Vidya said in a statement. Through the initiative, the program will reach out and work closely with Panchayati Raj Institutions members, natural and faith-based leaders, Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Aanganwadi Workers (AWWs) and mothers to drive a positive behaviour towards sanitation practices. It will include various activities like training of Panchayati Raj Institutions members using toolkits, exposure tours, sanitation chaupal, capacity building of frontline health workers through game shows and folk shows for sensitizing mothers. The progress will be monitored at each step to track the progress and achievements of change leaders will be recognised across these 100 villages in the state’s Varanasi, Kannauj and Etawah districts. The campaign was launched with the involvement of dignitaries like veteran actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha and Jack Sim, founder, World Toilet Organization among many others.

“We have a dedicated initiative targeting school children, we believe it is equally important to educate and encourage communities to adopt healthier hygiene and sanitation practices to create a positive impact on the society they live in. By the end of this campaign, we aim to help these 100 villages in Uttar Pradesh become Open Defecation Free,” said RB’s regional director, South Asia, Nitish Kapoor. According to National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and World Health Organisation (WHO), over 600 million Indians have no access to toilets. The proportion is worse in rural India – where 68 percent of rural households don’t have their own toilets.

(IANS)

 

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Actress Vidya Balan Feels That Women Should Value Themselves Each Day

On the work front, Vidya will next be seen onscreen in Telugu film "N.T.R: Kathanayakudu" and Hindi film "Mission Mangal"

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Actress Vidya Balan feels that women should value themselves each day so that they do not need women’s day to celebrate their achievements and strengths.

The actress was interacting with the media at a panel discussion on ‘Women Shaping the Narrative in Media & Entertainment’ on International Women’s Day on Friday here.

Over the question of changes that she wants to see in the lives of women working in the film industry, Vidya replied: “I won’t just talk about the film industry. I wish, as women, we should value ourselves little more each day so that someday we will not need women’s day to celebrate our achievements and strengths.

In the past few years, the Hindi film industry has seen many successful female centric movies like ‘Kahaani’, ‘Pink’, ‘Piku’, ‘Tumhari Sulu’, ‘Mardaani’, ‘Raazi’ amongst others.

Sharing her views on female centric movies in Bollywood, she said: “I think it used to happen before also but then it was happening in ‘fits and spurts’. But at present, female centric cinema is growing slowly and steadily. The more success these kinds of films would get, the more they would be made.”

Vidya Balan.

“There will be a time when people will just go to cinemas to watch the film without thinking whether it’s a male centric or a female centric film and that’s where we are heading. There are lots of faces who are responsible for this change. I think there are lots of stories waiting to be told,” she said.

When asked, how she is celebrating International Women’s Day, Vidya said: “I am celebrating women’s day by working and celebrating with the women who are celebrating themselves, who are living their lives to their fullest potential, unapologetically and I think there is no better way to celebrate any day than this way.”

Also Read- Building AI Without Women Will Lead to Biased Results: Microsoft

Replying on who is an inspirational figure in her life, Vidya said that there is not a single woman. “I feel every woman who is trying to lead her life on her own terms is an inspiration to me,” she said.

On the work front, Vidya will next be seen onscreen in Telugu film “N.T.R: Kathanayakudu” and Hindi film “Mission Mangal”. (IANS)