Thursday, August 16, 2018

Takewadi Andhali village wins the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2018

Pune/Mumbai, Paani Foundation today announced the winners of the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2018 at an award ceremony hosted by Mr. Aamir Khan and Ms. Kiran Rao, Founders of Paani foundation, and Mr. Satyajit Bhatkal, CEO of Paani Foundation.
The event was held at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune in the presence of more than 6,000 villagers from all over Maharashtra. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Fadnavis was the Chief Guest at the Award Function which witnessed an all-party galaxy of political leaders, notably Shri Ajit Pawar, Shri Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Shri Uddhav Thackeray, Shri Raj Thackeray, and the Hon. Minister for Water Conservation Shri. Ram Shinde. Leading lights from the world of film, television, media and business were also present to celebrate the stellar work done by lakhs of villagers to make their villages’ drought free. 

The first prize of Rs. 75 lakhs was given to Takewadi Andhali village from Maan taluka of Satara district. Second prize of Rs. 50 Lakhs was given jointly to villages from Bhandvali (Maan taluka) and Sindkhed from districts Satara and Buldhana respectively.  The third prize of Rs. 40 Lakhs was given jointly to villages of Anandwadi (Ashti taluka) and Umatha (Narkhed taluka) from districts Beef and Nagpur respectively.
“Paani Foundation has brought together people from all strata. The foundation should include 100 talukas next year and government will extend all help for the same. We can achieve new Maharashtra with each other's cooperation," said Maharashtra's Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sunday. The trophy was handed over by CM & Mrs. Amruta Fadnavis.
Along with CM, Minister of State for Water Resources Vijay Shivtare, Minister of State for Home, Ram Shinde, and Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, former CM Ashok Chavan, former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and CEO of Paani Foundation Satyajit Bhatkal were present at the occasion. In its third edition, Water Cup 2018 saw participation of 75 talukas where capacity to store 22,269 crore liter of water was stored through rainwater harvesting works done over a period of 45 days.
Speaking as the chief guest of the function, Fadnavis said, "Paani Foundation realized that Maharashtra could not be water-abundant unless people are brought together. Maharashtra will have abundant water only when water conservation will become a mass movement. There can be no change in the lives of people or villages by external forces, any change whatsoever has to be brought by ourselves. Paani Foundation has underlined this fact and worked in that direction".
While appreciating that water table level in Maharashtra has gone up because of Water Cup competition works, he said that water has to be judiciously. "We have known the science, now it is our duty to follow it up. Otherwise we may well head towards drought again. There must be continuity in our efforts," he warned.
He appealed to Aamir Khan to include 100 talukas in the Water Cup League next year and promised to provide all assistance for the same at the government level.
Outlining his vision, Aamir Khan said, "Paani Foundation was born three years ago with a dream and this dream is of not one or two but 11 crore people. We want this dream to realize in our lifetime and happily, we are seeing it coming into reality. It is our dream to see Maharashtra water-abundant one day. I love every moment of this journey to realise. I do not know whether I will be successful in this effort but I enjoy this journey".
Satyaji Bhatkal said, "Paani Foundation was started just 30 months ago with the conviction that villages will be replete with water if entire village contributes in the effort. Water Cup was born out of this effort. Collective manual labour is important even in the age of machines. Some wise men said it wouldn't succeed but people of Maharashtra proved them wrong. This was kind of a craziness that would fill heart of every Marathi era on with pride".
Vijay Shivtare said, "Six commissions were appointed for eradicating drought from the state. Aamir Khan has achieved heart-conservation with water-conservation".
Ashok Chavan said, "We have come together here to salute Aamir Khan's work. He has shown that nothing is impossible when people join hands. Maharashtra had to face man-made drought in Maharashtra. But Aamir and his team has created a charged atmosphere in the state. He has lead the way by example. All political parties are with him in his endeavor".
While appreciating that Aamir Khan has done an exemplary work, Ajit Pawar advised Aamir Khan not to share platform of any political party. He also emphasized that we would have to rethink of the crop pattern in view of availability of water.
Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil said, "It requires immense strength to bring together so many people.” We will extend all support to eliminate drought from Maharashtra". Raj Thackeray said, "It is most unfortunate that water crisis has become severe in the state. Water is beyond caste, creed and religion which gives life to everyone".
In 2018, the competition witnessed the participation of 4025 villages from 75 talukas   from 24 districts of Maharashtra. Over 20,000 villagers were trained in watershed management by Paani Foundation. Over half a million people participated in the shramdaan during the Water Cup. The water storage capacity created by this year’s competition is approximately26,000 crore liters. 

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