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Aamir Khan Extends Support to 'Mission Paani' Campaign, Says Conserving Water Need of the Hour

Speaking to CNN-News18, Khan praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts towards water conservation and lauded the creation of a ministry specifically for this purpose.


Updated:July 4, 2019, 10:55 AM IST

New Delhi: Extending support to Network18’s ‘Mission Paani’, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan on Wednesday said saving the resource was the need of the hour and “if we do not respect water, we will lose it”.

‘Mission Paani’ is a pan-India campaign by Network18 meant to spread awareness about water conservation.

Speaking to CNN-News18, Khan praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts towards water conservation, saying, “The Prime Minister has constituted a ‘jal mantralaya’, which is a good and important step.”

The actor went on to talk about Paani Foundation, a non-profit organisation set up by him and his wife Kiran Rao in 2016 to fight drought in rural Maharashtra.

Talking about the inception of the project, Khan said, “We started working on the issue of water around four years ago or maybe a little earlier than that. Satyajit (Bhatkal; director) and I started a show, Satyamev Jayate, in which we had a segment on water. It was around this time that we concluded that the issue of water needs to be addressed. So we started the Paani Foundation.”

Khan also explained why he chose Maharashtra to begin work on the water crisis. “Maharashtra faces drought every year. Several regions in the state barely receive rainfall. We researched for 6-8 months and went around villages trying to understand the problems, the steps being taken and the efforts that further need to be made. The whole team of 'Satyamev Jayate' became a part of Paani Foundation,” he said.

“Over 150 talukas in Maharashtra fall under the drought-prone category. We tried to put in place the watershed management method to deal with water crisis and help improve the groundwater level,” he added.

The actor, who has vowed to bring about a change in the state, said, “Maharashtra is a big state and we aim to take measures at a large scale.”

Khan also spoke about the challenges in rural areas due to caste differences and politics and emphasised on the importance of water budget and planning.

Applauding the Network18 campaign, launched on Monday, the 54-year-old actor stressed on the need to make the campaign a mass movement in order to bring about change. “We need to encourage people for water conservation by making the task more simple and interesting,” he said.

Speaking about urban areas, he said the practice of water harvesting needs to be adopted. “Mumbai gets heavy rains and a large amount of water get wasted. Even my building does not have rain-harvesting facility. If we start, it will take at least a year. Every society must harvest water,” he said.

The Network18 campaign aims to create awareness about the urgent need to conserve water, along with informing people about the dangerous pace at which the country is losing its life-saving resource.

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