Last year, she created ripples with her Silk act in The Dirty Picture and followed it up with an intense role in Kahaani this year. Come October 19, Vidya Balan will don a completely different avatar. The actor will be travelling to Bihar’s Bettiah district, considered the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi’s satyagraha movement, to spread the message of sanitation and good hygiene.
As the newly appointed brand ambassador for the National Sanitation Drive, Vidya will be travelling to the area as a part of a fair, called the Nirmal Bharat Yatra.
Vidya, who was in Delhi along with the Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, who was given the additional charge of Minister of Drinking Water and Sanitation in 2011, to announce a 2000 km-long yatra, says that when Ramesh called her, she felt there was “no better way to leverage my stardom” than for an issue that needs immediate attention.
“I am proud to be the face of the National Sanitation Drive. We haven’t outlined what I will be doing exactly, but the idea is to carry across the message of a very basic issue that defecation in the open is unacceptable,” says the actor. “In 10 years, we plan to rid India of this problem. My family members always told me that I should become the cleanliness manager of the country since I am very particular about hygiene,” she adds with a laugh.
Starting today, Vidya will appear in radio and television advertisements in which she tries to convince people living in villages to use toilets. In fact, she has already shot for three ad films on the subject. “Vidya has been requested to visit more places for the drive but she is yet to reply as she’s shooting for Ghanchakkar with Emraan Hashmi,” says an insider close to the actor.