While the civil society is busy measuring the level of intolerance and students are crying hoarse demanding freedom of speech, including the right to abuse the country, Nana Patekar is quietly helping the drought-hit farmers of Maharashtra.
Patekar, who had collected Rs.80 lakh for the relief of farmers, has now given away sewing machines to the families of farmers who committed suicide.
The National Award winning actor had himself distributed cheques of Rs.15,000 to 62 families of farmers in August last year. That had set in motion a series of philanthropic activities by Bollywood celebrities and common people for the suffering families of farmers.
Patekar’s Naam Foundation has been able to raise Rs.22 crores from the people, which is being used with the sole aim of helping farmers in distress.
Merely helping families with wherewithal is not the only thing Patekar is doing; his foundation is also trying to regenerate dried up rivers and lakes so that farmers can at least get drinking water.
Through his foundation, Patekar has also adopted villages such as Gogalgaon and developing them into model villages.
And on being asked if what he was doing should be done by the government, Patekar said:
Clearly, while some student leaders resort to empty sloganeering calling for the upliftment of poor farmers and politicians continue to ignore their plight, Nana Patekar has been actually working towards farmers’ welfare with help from the people.