Amitabh Bachchan is seriously concerned about global warming. The Unforgettable world tour, organised by Wizcraft and starring the Bachchans (Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya) along with Akshay Kumar, Preity Zinta and Madhuri Dixit will go 'green' as announced during IIFA in Bangkok.
In a chat, Bachchan talks about how the tour will try to combat global warming and about his interaction with environmentalist Dr R K Pachauri:
When was it decided that the Unforgettables tour would go green?
As soon as the tour details were finalised, we took a joint decision that we would do our maximum to ensure that certain environmental issues were addressed.
What are some of the steps that will be taken to ensure the prevention of global warming?
Some very basic steps are being taken. Not flying on chartered flights, reducing the consumption of electric power on the stage, or using equipment that is environment friendly.
Are you taking any steps at home — planting vegetation, etc, or involving your children and grandchildren in planting trees and educating them about global warming?
Yes we always do. We have a substantial lawn in Prateeksha and despite the concretisation that sprouts all around us we have not allowed it to be consumed.Instead, we continue to plant trees in and around it. As also in Jalsa and the office at Janak. And yes, the children and grandchildren support this cause.
You mentioned at IIFA that you had planted a champa tree at the UN office.
The UN office in Bangkok has a large courtyard open to the elements. It was here that the ambassador of India and I planted a champa tree, in keeping with the UN special programme of planting a billion trees. I am happy to state that that programme has indeed overshot its target. Over 2.2 billion trees have been planted.
Environmentalist and Nobel Peace Laureate winner Dr R K Pachauri was honoured by IIFA with the Global Business Leadership Award. Could you enlighten us a bit on your conversation with Dr Pachauri? Dr Pachauri was a guest at the IIFA business forum, where he was given a citation for his achievements and his recent Nobel Prize.In the speech he made that afternoon to almost 500 delegates, he educated us through statistics and film about the importance of saving the environment. I have volunteered, as have Abhishek and Aishwarya, to lend our support through film campaigns, to his concerns on global warming.
What steps did you decide with Dr Pachauri on to control global warming?
Dr Pachauri is going to brief us on his return to India what steps he wishes to take and where he would like us to come in. We will be actively involved with Dr Pachauri and his works and intend keeping in touch with him with reference to our conversation. As and when he draws up a programme we shall meet and take things forward.