New Delhi: Jacqueline Fernandez who is a youth icon and inspiration to modern-day women is excited about resuming work in the weeks to come stating, “work is set to resume now and I am quite excited about the same. TV shoots have already started and the film industry will also get going shortly. We have all learned to inculcate good personal hygiene practices into our daily lives during the pandemic and have understood the safety protocols. Only those who are absolutely needed will be allowed on the sets going forward and safety and hygiene will be a top priority.” Fernandez has to finish working on her upcoming films ‘Attack’ with John Abraham and ‘Kick 2’ with Salman Khan.
However, in light of the pandemic, most conversations turn to the topics of hygiene, wellness and home sheltering; Fernandez leverages her popularity to voice the importance of maintaining high sanitization and hygiene standards, amongst her fan following which includes more than 42 million followers on social media platforms alone.
The ‘Race 3’ heroine recently signed up as a brand ambassador for the Raho Safe range by Pee Safe, one of India’s leading youth hygiene brands to talk about movies, lockdown, and hygiene.
Q: In India where both men and especially women in a majority of rural areas do not have access to toilets; how can hygiene standards be implemented in these areas especially in the wake of a pandemic like Covid-19?
Fernandez: While the Covid-19 pandemic has catapulted the importance of personal hygiene in our country, the discussion around the topic is not new. Campaigns such as Swachh Bharat by the Government of India have raised mass awareness on this over the past few years and also made toilets more accessible even in the remotest areas.
The issue really revolves around inculcating good hygiene practices into our daily lives. The highly contagious nature of the ongoing pandemic has made people realize that precautions need to be taken at all times and any lapse in the same can cause health complications.
One should always wash hands with soap and water especially after using the washroom, having meals or going to public places. If unable to do so, it is important to use an alcohol-based hand-sanitizer, which can kill viruses and bacteria. Face masks must be used whenever outdoors. It is also important to sanitize your surroundings by using off the shelf or homemade disinfectants etc.
Prevention is the best cure against any infection or pandemic. For me good personal hygiene goes beyond the pandemic and it is not just a habit but also a way of life!
Q: Why is it important to ensure safety standards, especially in urban cities where social distancing is not an option in densely populated areas where more than 5 or 6 people share a room and communal bathrooms?
Fernandez: Mumbai’s recent experience is a testament to the fact that even the most congested areas can control the spread of the virus through awareness, timely detection, and prevention. Whether one lives alone or with many others, each person should wash their hand’s frequency and ensure proper hygiene and sanitation. By taking such steps consistently on an individual as well as community level, it is possible to contain and defeat the pandemic even if social distancing is always not possible. Having said that, social distancing protocols should be followed as much as possible and face masks should be worn.
Q: With all the hand sanitizing and disinfecting, how do you prevent your skin from the adverse impact of sanitizers and masks?
Fernandez: I have been particular about personal hygiene and using hand-sanitizers even before the pandemic broke out. However, I ensure that my skin doesn’t suffer any adverse impact by choosing only good quality hand sanitizers and also controlling their usage. I opt for soap and water hand wash whenever I am at home and use sanitizers only when I am travelling or not in a position to actually wash my hands. I also constantly moisturize my hands.
While using disinfectants, I pay attention to avoid spraying them on to my own skin. When out, I use fashionable fabric masks, which are breathable and washable. Such masks not only reduce the environmental impact, but are also extremely comfortable even when worn for hours. These are pandemic times so the top priority is to stay safe. Whether it is an actor or anyone else, everyone must use masks for their own safety. For me, it is about choosing a mask that makes me feel safer and confident because that automatically translates into a style statement.
Q: Hollywood has resumed work. Do you think Indian film industry will be quick to follow?
Fernandez: Yes, the work is set to resume now and I am quite excited about the same. TV shoots have already started and the film industry will also get going shortly. We have all learnt to inculcate good personal hygiene practices into our daily lives during the pandemic and have understood the safety protocols.
Only those who are absolutely needed will be allowed on the sets going forward and safety and hygiene will be top priority. There is a need to dispel misconceptions and the fear associated with the Covid-19 pandemic and learn to live with it while taking basic precautions like using hand sanitizers, washing hands on a regular basis, wearing a mask and disinfecting commonly used surfaces. This is the new normal and we all need to move forward alongside adhering to these rules.
Q: Why did you choose to come on board as the brand ambassador for Raho Safe?
Fernandez: Raho Safe is doing a great job in promoting hygiene and making it affordable and accessible through their products to the masses. Since, I am a hygiene freak myself, I could relate to the brand’s vision and practices and jumped at the opportunity of becoming their brand ambassador for two years.
For me hygiene is not just a habit but also a way of life and I have thus been using hand sanitizers, face masks and disinfectants even before the pandemic. You will always find a sanitizer in my bag. I truly believe in products like Raho Safe, which are high on quality and low on environmental impact. For instance, disposable face masks are emerging as a major source of plastic pollution in recent times, but, Raho Safe offers high quality, safe and reusable fabric masks, which don’t encourage plastic usage.
Raho Safe products are high quality and give you international standards of hygiene and protection. They are affordable and accessible. Use Raho Safe and keep yourself and your family protected from diseases.
Speaking about this, Vikas Bagaria, Founder, Pee Safe, said, “We are delighted to have Jacqueline on board as our brand ambassador for the Raho Safe range. She brings a lot of youthful energy and is a huge influence on the millennial generation. With her on board, we will be able to connect with every segment of the population, be it in the metros or the Tier 2 and 3 cities. The personal hygiene market is expected to reach $15 billion by 2023 in India, more so after the pandemic. We launched the Raho Safe range just before the Coronavirus outbreak with an aim to improve access to better hygiene and wellness products that are also affordable. With Jacqueline, we also aim to strengthen our messaging around the importance of feminine hygiene.” The product line includes an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, surface disinfectant, surface protectants, face masks, face shield, and other hygiene products.