Bollywood actor Aamir Khan on Tuesday said it was his dream to make sure that the water crisis in Maharashtra was solved for good within the next five years.
He was speaking at ‘Satyamev Jayate Water Cup Awards 2016’. The competition judged water harvesting efforts of various villages.
The actor and his wife Kiran Rao, along with the team of his popular TV show “Satyamev Jayate”, have formed Paani Foundation, which works in association with the state government to find ways to end water scarcity.
The first prize worth Rs 50 lakh went to Velu village in Koregaon tehsil. Second prize of Rs 30 lakh was shared by Khapartone and Jaigaon villages in Ambejogai and Koregaon tehsils, respectively.
Radi Tanda in Ambejogai and Wathoda in Warud tehsils shared the third prize, carrying Rs 20 lakh.
The competition was held from April 20 to June 5 and villages were judged by the amount of water storage they created through water harvesting methods.
The 51-year-old actor hailed the efforts of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to make the state drought-free.
“It is our dream to make Maharashtra drought-free in five years. And it is our good fortune that Maharashtra got a chief minister who has pledged to solve the water crisis. His political will is really strong,” Aamir said.
Fadnavis said people’s participation was of utmost importance for an initiative like this, and hailed Aamir and his team for their efforts.
“Now our ‘yug dharam’ is to end drought. That is our aim... A big movement of water conservation has started. I thank Aamir. He is a perfectionist not only in reel but even in real life,” he said.
The first edition of the Water Cup was restricted to three districts. Aamir said the next phase of the cup would hopefully involve some 30 districts.
“In round one, we worked in three districts. In round two, we are hoping to go to 30 districts and use our learning of round one there,” the actor said.
He was highly inspired by the overwhelming response to the competition, he said, and credited the local people for the success.
“It is inspiring to see (the result). We wanted to see if people will do this on their own because we are giving them only knowledge and training. Ultimately everything else they have to put in,” Aamir added.
Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI