Aamir Khan to provide star power to Maharashtra govt’s water conservation scheme

Mumbai: Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan, whose comments on “intolerance” sparked a row last year and invited the wrath of right-wing outfits, is partnering with the BJP-led Government in Maharashtra for its flagship water conservation and drought-mitigation programme.

Aamir and wife Kiran Rao, along with the team of his popular TV show “Satyamev Jayate”, have formed “Paani Foundation”, which will work in association with the Government to solve water crisis in the drought-affected State.

“When we did ‘Satyamev Jayate’ programme we saw the on ground results which were very strong. But we didn’t work on ground then. We thought we should take a step forward and focus on one topic till we solve it.

“Satyajit Bhatkal (the show’s director) and I chose water because it’s very important and Maharashtra because we were born here. We thought we should begin with this,” Aamir said at a press conference where Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and industrialists were also present.

The actor announced “Satyamev Jayate Water Cup”, which will work for ‘Jal Yukt Shivar’, the Fadnavis Government’s flagship scheme aimed at making villages drought-free in five years through water conservation programmes.

The actor said he won’t be the only face of the initiative and plans to rope in Marathi celebrities to push the cause.

“We are requesting lots of Marathi celebrities, sports people, actors etc to become mentors and take over villages. Just to encourage people…. We want this to become a movement where everybody gets involved. I won’t be the only face.”

The first edition of the cup will be restricted to three districts and within those one taluka each. From western Maharashtra, it will be Koregaon taluka (Satara district); from Vidarbha, it will be Warud taluka (Amravati) and Ambajogai taluka (Beed district in Marathwada).

The aim is to communicate and create awareness among people at the grassroot level about water conservation and watershed management, the superstar said.

He said during the period of the initiate he won’t stop doing films but will be involved with the programme throughout.

Addressing the press meet, Fadnavis said Aamir did not want the title of brand ambassador of ‘Jal Yukt Shivar’.