Dia Mirza will turn 40 on December 9 this year and she has come up with a special plan that will benefit the families of forest warriors who died due to COVID-19. It is no secret that Dia Mirza is a fierce advocate for the environment and the climate and has campaigned for many environmental projects. In a deeply moving appeal, posted on fundraising platform ‘Milaap’ and on her social media handles, the star said, “On my birthday this year, I would like to take the opportunity to request all those who may want to send me flowers or gifts to instead make a donation to WTI to help our VanRakshaks. There could be no better birthday gift! Your gift will help support the bereaved families of India’s ‘Guardians of the Wild’ who lost their lives to Covid 19 while protecting our natural heritage.”
She added, “Beginning with my 40th birthday on 9 December, for the next 40 days, I will donate a lakh each day and hope that you all will (contribute alongside me to the best of your abilities/match or better that amount) as we seek to maximise our collective impact!”
The actress also said that “our guardians of the wild, our van rakshaks risk their lives in service to nature. They often fall to accidents in the toughest of terrain, inclement weather, attacks by wild animals or poachers. When the second wave of COVID-19 tore through the country leading to nationwide lockdowns, these men and women were out patrolling our country’s forests on foot. Between March and June 2021, when most of us stayed at home, India lost more than 500 of these conservation heroes to Covid-19.”
On my birthday this year don’t send me flowers or gifts ðÂÂÂðÂÂ» Instead, help me honour guardians of #WildIndia @wti_org_india’s #CovidCasualtyFund. The proceeds are delivered to the families #ConservationHeroes along with a scroll of honour ðÂÂÂðÂÂ» https://t.co/98LGFdLYtp pic.twitter.com/r9L2c2UeAj
— Dia Mirza (@deespeak) December 1, 2021
Dia Mirza has also appealed to her fans to join her in this cause and raise the remaining amount to cover all 65 families who are still to benefit from the Wildlife Trust of India’s (WTI) Conservation Heroes Covid Casualty Fund which provides an ex-gratia of INR 100,000 and a scroll of honour to the next of kin of the fallen heroes. While 135 requests have already been processed by WTI from the 200 claims it received, 65 are still pending.