Actress Kajol, who has been an active supporter of eradicating preventable deaths from hygiene-related issues, says the current government is giving the cause of hygiene and sanitation the spotlight it deserves.
"I think hygiene and sanitation are issues in every country. It's not only in our country. The fact that it has become a focus in our country is really important… No other government has spotlighted it in such a big way," Kajol told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
At the same time, she believes the public needs to do its bit to make a greater difference.
"In the world we are living and the kind of levels pollution has reached, I think it's important to understand that we need to do our part… We have to take that personal responsibility," added Kajol, who is an advocate for Lifebuoy's 'Help A Child Reach Five' movement.
She also participated in the United Nations General Assembly to spread the message of hygiene through washing hands.
Asserting that it's a cause very close to her heart as it's about saving the lives of children, Kajol said: "I am a mom. I think it's really important. So when we talk about the statistics of our country, it is very high as far as child mortality is concerned. As much as 30 per cent of child mortality comes from India."
At 43, Kajol, who is married to actor Ajay Devgn, has two children — daughter Nysa and son Yug.
As a mother, she describes herself as strict.
"I am fun, but definitely strict. There are no two ways about it. I hope my children like me. I believe they do. I like them more… Most importantly, they are good kids and they are great fun. But yeah, I am very, very strict," she said, adding that Ajay too is a "strict, but a wonderful parent".
The "Dilwale" star, who is the daughter of veteran actress Tanuja, says it is important that children have "discipline and rules in their lives".
"They will grow up straight and strong with the boundaries put around them," she added.
How does she strike a balance between her work and two growing up children?
"It is a juggling process and it happens every day, every hour and hoping that one of the balls don't slip out of your hands. I think most importantly it's just that you kind of realise that some days you are a better mother, some days you are a better wife, some days you are better actor… It's okay, and you are doing the best you can," she added.
On the acting front, Kajol will next be seen playing a single mother in an upcoming movie directed by Pradeep Sarkar.
[By Durga Chakravarty]