For the past few months, Parineeti Chopra has been busy doing up her newly purchased home. And contrary to popular belief, the 26-year-old says that she hasn’t taken a sabbatical from work. She was recently appointed the brand ambassador of the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign in Haryana. Here, the actor talks about her association with the initiative, her future plans, and more.
We haven’t seen much of you for quite some time now. Are you on a break?
That’s not true. I don’t know why people say that. I did back-to-back films, and I was constantly working. Now, I’ve bought a house and I have been busy doing it up. I don’t know where the last five months have gone. As a matter of fact, everybody suddenly feels that I’m not there. May be I didn’t go to enough press events. But that doesn’t mean that my career has taken a backseat. I think people are reading too much into it.
It is easy to get bothered by things being written about you on a daily basis. How do you keep yourself away from it all?
You just have to go and meditate in the hills (laughs). When we read things about ourselves [in the papers], it sounds so blasphemous, that you feel, "Oh my God! Really, did Parineeti do this?" So, I can only imagine what people who don’t know me must be thinking about me. And that’s very sad because the media is so powerful; you can really affect the way people think about actors. We’re working so hard to build our careers. One false story or headline on a Monday morning can affect so many people. If I’ve done something wrong, please report it. But when I’ve not, which is mostly the case, it really affects a lot of things.
You’ve been made the brand ambassador of Haryana for the Prime Minister’s Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign. Tell us more about that.
There are different people who get associated with different causes because of something they’ve gone through in their lives. In my case, it’s the exact opposite. I’ve had a lovely experience being a girl in my family. I’ve never been treated any lesser than my brothers or my cousins. That’s why I feel I’m the perfect voice to take this forward. I want every girl to feel at par with boys, and be as empowered and confident as them.
Are there particular guidelines that you need to follow while endorsing this cause?
The meaning of being the brand ambassador for this campaign from Haryana is that we start the campaign from there and propagate that message pan-India. It doesn’t mean that when I step into Punjab I’m suddenly not the brand ambassador, and my words don’t matter. My guidelines are simple — treat girls equally and follow this message.
In an essentially male-dominated industry such as Bollywood, have you faced any kind of gender inequality?
There’s the clichéd answer that girls are still being paid lesser than boys. But that’s an age-old issue, and will be resolved with time. Otherwise, I’ve never been treated any less. I think we’re surrounded by people who’re educated, knowledgeable and skilled at their jobs. So, in this industry, one will be treated like an equal. I have never faced anything like that in Mumbai or in this industry.