Pune: The villagers of Kakadadara (Aarvi) won the first place in the State in the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2017 for doing the maximum water conservation in their village.
Paani Foundation, the organisation that mobilised thousands of villagers in Maharashtra since 2016 to fight their own water crisis and be self-sufficient organised Satyamev Jayate Water Cup on Sunday at Balewadi Stadium.
The second place was won by the villages Bhosare Khatav and Jaybhaywadi. Bidal and Palaskheda shared the third place. While the first place winner was awarded the Water Cup trophy and a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh, second and third place winners shared the cash prizes of Rs 30 lakh and Rs 20 lakh respectively.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was the chief guest. Founders of Paani Foundation actor Aamir Khan and wife Kiran Rao could not attend the event as they are down with swine flu. Renowned actor Shah Rukh Khan attended the event instead.
“The Water Cup has proved that when a common man decides to do something, nobody can stop him from achieving his target. This project gave a new direction to the government’s Jalyukt Shivar initiative. Water Cup has created a new water revolution in the state. All these villagers are our water heroes, and if this work continues, we can make our State drought-free in two years,” Fadnavis said. He said that while the project was undertaken in 30 talukas this year, next year it should be done in 100 talukas.
Fadnavis announced an award of Rs 6.5 crore to the villagers who will do well in Water Cup next year. “With the conservation of jal, jameen ani jungle (water, land and forest) we can make our State so prosperous that there will be no need for the government to waive off farmers’ loan again,” Fadnavis added.
While connected to the event through video call, Khan congratulated the villagers for their hard work and said he expected the work to be continued on a larger scale next year.
The foundation gave away cash prizes and awards of Rs 10 lakh each to the taluka-wise winners of the Water Cup 2017 and also announced a cash prize of Rs 8 lakh on behalf of the government. Two villages Gawankund and Jaygaon were awarded for successfully undertaking the water conservation project for two consecutive years.
Panlot Sevaks, social and technical trainers and government officials involved in the project were also felicitated.
Funders of the foundation Neeta Ambani of Reliance Foundation, Rajiv Bajaj of Bajaj Auto, Ajay Piramal of Piramal Group, R Venkat (representing Tata Trusts) and representative of HDFC Bank lauded the work of the foundation, calling it a people’s movement.
Water Conservation Minister Ram Shinde and India’s Water Man Rajendra Singh were also present on the occasion. Eminent personalities from Hindi and Marathi film industries like Jackie Shroff, Shirish Kunder, Nagraj Manjule, Atul Kulkarni, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Girish Kulkarni, Ashutosh Gowariker, Pratiksha Lonkar, Sakshi Tanwar, and many more were present.
About ‘Satyamev Jayate Water Cup’
- To encourage people to apply their training, Paani Foundation organises Satyamev Jayate Water Cup annually to see which village can do the maximum water conservation work.
- Around 1,314 villages across 30 talukas in Vidarbha, Marathwada and Western Maharashtra undertook the water conservation project.
- Eight to 10 thousand villagers from across villages attended the award function in the city on Sunday.