Award winning actor of 'The Dirty Picture', Vidya Balan, will now play a role to alter the real dirty picture on the ground in India. She has accepted Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh's offer to become the brand ambassador in his campaign for improving sanitation.
Manual scavenging is the worst face of India's shocking story on sanitation and Vidya has an enormous challenge on her hands - that of changing perceptions. As the latest census data revealed, 53 per cent of Indian households have mobiles yet only 43 per cent have toilets, there are 21 lakh toilets in India which rely on human beings to clean the waste!
But in the face of many worthy causes, why fight for better sanitation? Vidya says,"I am convinced about it - without conviction, nothing works - we get approached for many causes - I would have declined if I did not believe in it."
As Union minister Jairam Ramesh has sounded the alarm but his message has largely gone unheard. Despite his best efforts, sanitation is simply not on top of the national agenda or people's minds.
The minister who wants to make it a national obsession is hoping that the Vidya magic will be the game changer here, "it is going to be a very serious commitment on her part - she's had a dirty picture in reel life, but this will be a clean picture in real life". The question is will the star of the Dirty Picture be able to deliver in her new role as Brand ambassador for clean India?