MUMBAI: Paani Foundation, an NGO run by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan, announced the third edition of Satyamev Jayate Water Cup on Friday. The third edition of the competition is covering 75 talukas, spread over 24 districts of the State, where 75,000 villages will be taking part in the contest.
It is a competition between different villages to see which among them can do maximum work for watershed management and water conservation during the period of the competition i.e between April 8 to May 22. The prize money which the villages stand to win in the competition is nearly Rs 10 crore. The competition was started in 2016.
The organisers of the competition announced the third edition at Sahyadri Guest House, where Aamir Khan was present, along with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and EGS Minister Jaykumar Rawal. Industrialists Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, Paani Foundation’s CEO Satyajit Bhatkal, Bharatiya Jain Sangh Chief Shantilal Muttha also present.
When the competition was started, only three talukas took part in it. In the second year, the participation increased to 16 talukas. In the third edition, it has gone up to 75 talukas, where about 75,000 i.e. 85 per cent of the villages from these talukas applied for the same.
Bhatkal said that a total of 1,321 villages from 30 talukas have participated in the event and in the process, created total water storage of 10,000 crore litres.
“This year is a challenge because of the higher number of villages,” said Bhatkal.
Aamir Khan gave credit to the villagers, the NGOs and the corporate companies helping the foundation in the noble job. “These organisations have not just put their money in this, but also their hearts. The villagers made us realise that it is possible if we come together,” said Aamir.
He further said that the foundation is going to launch a new competition for farmers, based on soil health, grassland and organic level of the soil.
The chief minister said that if there is public participation, then transformation is inevitable. “Paani Foundation made the villagers crazy about their work and once you are crazy about it, then there will be change,” he said.
“Once people are well equipped, there is a transformation and for that, the government and Paani Foundation is with all villagers in the State,” he added.