Time to opt for sustainable lifestyles, says actress Shweta Tripathi

As India celebrates its 75th Independence Day, Shweta Tripathi of ‘Masaan’ fame, who attained instant stardom as ‘Golu Gupta’ in the Amazon Prime series ‘Mirzapur’, believes, like her hero Spiderman, that great power comes with great responsibility.

“Freedom has given us power,” Tripathi said as she spoke about what Indians needed to do as we contemplate life after 75 years of Independence. “It is time for us now to opt for responsible living and change a few habits so that we can build a better tomorrow.”

The key to bring about change, according to Tripathi, is to be respectful — “respectful to every human being who are doing their work quietly without getting any spotlight and despite knowing that their contribution to society, or even to a film, doesn’t get acknowledged enough”.

On a film set, Tripathi pointed out, we only talk about the actors, directors, writers and people who are in front of the camera. “What we do not acknowledge is the army of people who are creating that world. If I play a character, the way she looks on screen has everything to do with the lights, costume, makeup, camera and editing.

“I think we should acknowledge the efforts of these people because that is the way to show them the respect they deserve. In our society, there are so many such unnoticed people in their professions, silently contributing to let the system run smoothly. We must salute them,” Tripathi said.

She can feel for these unseen faces behind the camera, for she herself started out as a production assistant and associate director but went on to attain fame for her roles in films such as ‘Haraamkhor’ (opposite Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and ‘Gone Kesh’, which is about a young woman confronting a medical the condition known as alopecia (loss of hair from the scalp) and how society sets its beauty standards. More recently, she was seen in the web series ‘Laakhon Mein Ek’, which centres around her character’s fight against corruption in the public health system.

Having been a part of films or web series that come with a message, Tripathi says she wishes to bring a change in our lifestyle choices so that we respect mother nature and practise sustainable living because climate change is a big concern for the world today.

“It could sound like a big change in our lifestyle, but it is actually not, “Tripathi said. “Something as small as not wasting electricity, switching off lights when we do not require them, because we feel for those households that are without electricity; not wasting water because we realise that having clean drinking water is a luxury in our remote villages; not throwing away food because thousands sleep hungry every day.

“Such little gestures are all a part of a more responsible and sustainable lifestyle that will help us be more respectful to our scarce resources. I know very well that for many of us who live in privileged circumstances, throwing away extra food or keeping taps running unnecessarily have become such habits that these are not even considered wasteful. But these are. It is time we realise it so that we can become responsible citizens and contribute to the task of nation-building.”