Or last three consecutive years Aamir Khan has been working rigorously behind Paani Foundation, founded by him and his wife Kiran Rao to encourage villagers to do work in watershed management. This year also Aamir Khan has decided something unique by taking it to the youth of the country through educational institutions. Come 1st of May - Maharashtra Day and there is a unique opportunity for city folk to come out in large numbers and work shoulder-to-shoulder with villagers for a few hours. Speaking at a college event in Pune, Founder of Paani Foundation, Shri Aamir Khan has appealed to students and all urban citizens to become ‘Jalmitras’ and join this effort against drought, by signing up on the link jalmitra.paanifoundation.in
In 2016 Paani Foundation, a non profit company started by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, organised the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup which is a competition held each year between villages to see which village does the best work in watershed management. This is a people’s movement for a water-abundant, prosperous Maharashtra. Paani Foundation trains people in the science of watershed management, and villagers then plan and execute various watershed management works in their village with help from the government and NGOs.
In the first two years, around 1,500 villages participated in the Water Cup creating potential storage capacity of nearly 10,000 crore litres of water. In this, the third year of the competition, over 4,000 villages in 75 talukas and 24 districts of Maharashtra are participating. The top three prizes at the state level given to competing villages are Rs. 75 lakhs, Rs. 50 lakhs and Rs. 40 lakhs respectively. The top village in each taluka gets a prize of Rs. 10 lakhs. The competition runs from 8th April to 22nd May 2018.
Paani Foundation created the ‘Jalmitra’ - or ‘Friend of Water’ initiative, which it launched on World Water Day - 22nd March 2018. Anyone, anywhere in the world can be a Jalmitra.
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 Khan 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.