Abhay Deol: 'If I can help a noble cause, why not?'


By Hindustan Times

Mumbai, Feb. 26 -- Surely, he is a talented actor, but Abhay Deol isn't only interested in the world of lights, camera and action. He is equally excited about the planet and our environment. His latest move is to join the Greenpeace campaign against deforestation for coal mining at Mahan in Singrauli district of Madhya Pradesh. The campaign aims to convince the government to stop deforestation in the area.

"When a celebrity comes on board, it brings awareness to the issue and makes headlines immediately. It gives them the media coverage they desperately want. If extending my name gives them that coverage, then why not? All I have to do is make time for it," says the actor, who already vouches for Video Volunteers, Butterflies, The Climate Project and Wildlife SOS. Moreover, Abhay also flew over the Mahan forests to spread awareness about the cause and has even shot a video for Greenpeace.

"From the balloon, I looked at the beautiful forests of Mahan. It was a breathtaking sight, but the fact that coal mining threatens to destroy these forests made it disheartening."

According to Greenpeace, the Union Coal Ministry has been asking for additional forestland to increase coal production in central India. Coal companies, including the government-owned Coal India Limited, have access to over 2 lakh hectares of coal bearing land, including 55,000 hectares of forest area, as per campaigners who have collected over 1.21 lakh signatures for a petition to stop coal mining in our forests.

"It was easier for me to say yes to Greenpeace considering the amount of respectability it comes with. But before choosing an organisation, I make sure that they have a motive; work at the grassroot level and achieve the results," he says.