Born in a traditional Rajasthani family, Meinal Vaishnav never intended to become an actor. Also, her parents wanted her to pursue a career in literature. But destiny had other plans. She came to Mumbai against her parent’s wish and took up a lot of corporate jobs.
And, after her friends persuaded her, she took the decision to act in a few television commercials which led her to the role of Dr Sneha Mathur in Main Kuch Bhi Kar Sakti Hoon.Recollecting her journey, the 33-year-old talks about how her character, its impact and a lot more.
Tell us about Dr Sneha Mathur.
Dr Sneha Mathur is a young doctor, who leaves behind her lucrative career in Mumbai and decides to work in her village, Pratappur. The show focuses on Dr Sneha’s crusade to ensure the finest quality of healthcare for all. Under her leadership, village women find their voices through collective action. She is a role model in more ways than one.
Through different seasons, what kind of changes have you seen in the character?
The character has progressed to become a more rounded individual, who is conscious of the entire village and its social dimensions. She has understood ground realities, and drives a positive change in her village. Earlier, as a doctor, she worked to provide health services to the poor and needy. In season 3, Dr Sneha takes up social issues like sanitation and hygiene, regressive norms around sexual and reproductive health, among other things that are the root causes of illnesses. Her intention is to uproot the disease forever, instead of merely treating it.
Season three uses the concept of #LambiSagaai. Your take…
Even though the legal age of marriage in India for young women and men is 18 and 21 years respectively, the culture of marrying girls early, whether in child marriages or right after they turn 18, stems from unmarried women being seen as a burden to their families. ‘Lambi Sagaai’, or an extended courtship period, gives women enough time to be mentally ready for marriage. It promotes spousal communication, greater understanding of the relationship, which are crucial for a healthy marriage. By coining the term ‘Lambi Sagaai’, the serial has added the concept into the popular lexicon and made it a desirable behaviour.
The show has made a considerable impact…
After we started shooting for the show, we visited multiple tier-2 cities. When we interacted with local people, we were overwhelmed with the impact the show had on them. When I heard their stories, I realised that I am part of a movement, and we are able to contribute to the betterment of people’s life.
Any message for our readers?
Let us try to practice conscious living. Awareness of the impact we have on others is very important. We all have a responsibility towards the world we live in.