It's World Environment Day tomorrow and a clutch of Bollywood celebrities is gearing up to spread the go-green message at an event in Bandra. Apart from the usual suspects — marathons, cyclothons, musical performances — the organisers have planned a special eco-friendly activity for Mumbaikars. Sanjay Dutt would hold a masterclass where he will demonstrate the process of making paper bags — a craft that he learnt during his jail term.
Asif Bhamla, chairperson of the Bhamla Foundation which co-organises the annual event, says, “Sanjay will show how to make paper bags in front of thousands of participants. Our motto behind this activity is to ask people to stop using plastic bags and protect and preserve the environment.”
The 56-year-old actor had earned R440 for making paper bags and khaki envelopes in prison when he served the remainder of his five-year term in Pune’s Yerawada jail following his conviction in a case related to the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Dutt was initially given the job of making paper bags from newspapers. He was trained by a team of experts, and was tagged as an unskilled labour. The actor was paid R45 for every 100 paper bags that he prepared perfectly.
This will be the eighth year that the foundation is organising this event to raise environmental awareness with the support of activists and celebs from various walks of wife. Last year, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar had been named the event ambassador. This year, the focus will be on garbage compost. Around 1000 saplings will be distributed and many more events will be held for days post the big event on Sunday.
Jackie and Tiger Shroff, Raveena Tandon, Farhan Akhtar and a few other B’wood faces, political personalities and Tendulkar are expected to take part in the initiative.
Salim-Suleiman, Honey Singh, Sona Mohapatra and Armaan Malik will perform at the cultural do which includes a dance show by Shiamak Davar’s troupe.
Salman Khan was also expected to be part of this environment awareness programme on Sunday, but he will be giving it a miss.
Asif says, “Salman has informed us that he is busy with his upcoming film, Sultan, and won’t be able to make it. Shah Rukh is yet to confirm his presence”.
However, there is buzz that a big reason for Salman choosing to skip an appearance at the event is Sanjay Dutt’s presence. The two have been known to be buddies, but post Dutt’s release from jail, Salman reportedly hasn’t visited him. Buzz is that the two recently had a fall-out, the reason still unconfirmed.