“In five years from today, Maharashtra shouldn’t be needing Paani Foundation. The more number of people join the cause, the bigger the movement will become. I believe it’s the dream of us all that one day Maharashtra is drought-free and if we all dream of it, we all would have to do something about it to make it happen,” Aamir said. He also stuck posters in the college, and urged students and urban citizens to become ‘Jalmitras’, apart from taking to his Twitter account and tagging other celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Rajkummar Rao, Swara Bhasker, Richa Chadha and Abhishek Bachchan to seek their participation. “The idea is that the information should reach a larger number of people,” he further added. On the 1st of May, there will be a ‘Mahashramdaan’ across Maharashtra in all 75 talukas of the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup, where tens of thousands of citizens, both urban and rural will meet and work together for water abundance.
Aamir said he believes that this partnership between rural and urban will not only help the villagers but the city folk as well, to come closer to understanding our farmer friends, and knowing where our food, water and labour comes from. It will help to bridge the chasm between cities and villages, and go a long way towards creating a more equitable and humane relationship between the two. He urged the students to join the fight against water scarcity, and help work towards a prosperous and happy Maharashtra.
Aamir Khan, who leads NGO Paani Foundation, hopes Maharashtra is drought-free and doesn’t need such a platform after the next five years. Set up in 2016 by the team of the TV series “Satyamev Jayate” — which was led by Aamir — the NGO aims to fight drought in rural Maharashtra by harnessing the power of communication to mobilise, motivate and train people in this mission.
On Friday, Aamir visited the Symbiosis institute to pin up call-to-action posters for students’ participation in ‘Shramdaan’ (labour donation) across villages fighting against water scarcity and drought situations. The actor-producer was present with Pune Collector Naval Kishore, actor-director Girish Kulkarni and Satyajit Bhatkal, CEO of Paani Foundation, a statement said.
“Right now, we are still concentrating on the drought areas of rural Maharashtra. Once we feel that we have handled that, then we can move to cities,” said Aamir, who feels encouraged to see how people in villages have few resources but have such high hopes in their hearts. “You realise that there is so much courage and beauty in the people of rural Maharashtra. It has been a very enriching experience.”