Actor Riteish Deshmukh has donated Rs 25 lakh towards ‘Jalyukta Latur’ to help the drought-hit Latur.
Deshmukh joins the list of several Bollywood stars who have done their bit to help the drought affected areas of Maharashtra.
The actor visited his hometown Latur to contribute for the cause.
Jalyukta Latur (water-prosperous Latur) is an initiative started by people to deepen and widen a stretch of the nearby Manjara river, and possibly find a long-term solution to their water woes. This will help contain the rain water and it will be made available through out the year.
Jalyukt Latur was initiated on April 8, and has already raised Rs 3 crore of the estimated project cost of Rs 7.5 crore.
“We have formed WhatsApp groups, reached out to educational institutes, including schools, and all the local merchant associations to crowd-source funds,” says Makrand Jadhav, one of the co-ordinators of the initiative and a member of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living.
The project, which is under way, will deepen the Manjara river by three meters and widen it by 80 meters in a 18-km stretch between the Nagziri and Sai barrages.
“Once completed, there will be enough water to cater to Latur’s water requirement of 20 million litres per day,” says Jadhav. According to Amit Deshmukh, the local MLA, the project costs only a fifth of what a similar project proposed by the government would have cost.
Earlier, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar has donated Rs 50 lakh towards the Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyaan, an initiative taken by the Maharashtra government to make villages drought-proof.
Team India’s batsman Ajinkya Rahane has also donated Rs 5 lakhs to help the Maharashtra government in their bid to address the agrarian crisis in the state.
State Bank of Hyderabad along with contribution from employees of the bank working in Maharashtra, also donated an amount of Rs 1 crore to Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.