New Delhi: Vidya Balan, who on Thursday received the Best Actress National Film Award for her role in 'The Dirty Picture', is the new brand ambassador for the sanitation drive launched by Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh.
"I can't remember when was the last time I did anything without conviction," said Balan, when asked if she was convinced about the cause.
With manual scavenging still a reality and more than 21 lakh toilets without access to proper disposal of human waste, sanitation is an issue that has never been on top of national agenda. The minister hopes that with Vidya Balan, he will succeed in 'making sanitation a national obsession'.
CNN-IBN's Rupashree Nanda spoke with Jairam Ramesh and Vidya Valan. Here is an excerpt from the interview:
Rupashree Nanda: This is not the first time you have taken a brand ambassador to fight poor sanitation. Vidya Balan is at the peak of her career....what makes you think that Vidya will help you win this battle?
Jairam Ramesh: Actually, she is the first serious brand ambassador we have. It is going to be a two year programme. She's had a dirty picture in reel life, but this will be a clean picture in real life. I think she will help in making sanitation a national obsession.
Rupashree Nanda: Are you really convinced about the cause?
Vidya Balan: It's an honour for me to be the brand ambassador for the sanitation drive and like Mr Ramesh just said, it needs to become a national obsession and I am going to do everything in my capacity to make sure that the message is taken across to every person.
Rupashree Nanda: But are you convinced?
Vidya Balan: Of course, I am convinced - I can't remember the last time I did anything without conviction because you know it does not work I don't know when was the last time I did anything without conviction whether it is a film or a cause. We get approached to espouse a lot of causes as celebrities, as actors but I have chosen this as I said, it is a matter of great honour for me...I would have declined if i did not believe in it.
Jairam Ramesh: I want to say that Vidya Balan responded to our request almost instantaneously and almost spontaneously.