Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the common people have donated Rs.400 crore to his government’s ambitious project ‘Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan’ to make 25,000 villages in the state drought-free by 2019. According to NDTV report
, the donation marks a growing trust in the government by the people especially since Maharashtra was hit by the Rs.70,000 crore irrigation scam in the previous regime led by the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.
Fadnavis had in July urged the citizens to financially help his government to resolve the drought situation in his state.
In this movement, everybody from government employees to farmers, from Bollywood superstars to cricketers participated. Akshay Kumar, Ajinkya Rahane, spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, all contributed to help farmers in the state fight drought. Bollywood actor Nana Patekar in a recent interview with NDTV
said that he felt suffocated and couldn’t sleep during nights because of the continuous deaths of farmers. He disturbed cheques of Rs.15,000 each to widows of farmers who have committed suicide in the past years in Maharashtra.
Kishor Tiwari, Chairman of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission, a government body which oversees the distribution of relief to distressed farmers, said that there is transparency in disturbing benefits to the farmers.
Maharashtra Government said that work had started in 6,180 villages in the first phase and 1,20,485 small projects were completed.
In nearly 3,000 villages, work worth Rs.300 crores was done through people’s participation which includes contribution of machinery to make the state drought free by 2019. It is pertinent to mention here that Maharashtra had whopping 16,307 suicide cases in 2014, followed by 16,122 cases in Tamil Nadu and 14,310 cases in West Bengal. They accounted for 12.4 per cent, 12.2 per cent and 10.9 per cent, respectively, of suicide cases across the country, as per NCRB data.