A Bollywood actor, who is known for his brash style of delivering his dialogues has used his public good will to raise Rs 6 crore for poor farmers.
Nana Patekar’s fledgling Naam Foundation for drought-affected households in Maharashtra has gathered the massive sum in just one month, in an unmistakable demonstration of public trust.
Nana said, “I saw stirring visuals of bereaved women and children and was deeply shaken by their plight. I could not sit idly by anymore so I rang my friend, actor Makarand Anaspure, who nurtures a deep connect with his native Beed. We went there and were appalled by what we saw. I think youngsters who travel outstation for picnics should take a detour through these areas. They will be enlightened.”
Initially, Nana and Makarand distributed Rs 15,000 apiece to the families of 225 suicide victims.
They now intend to adopt one village at a time in order to permanently fix the water crisis.
Nana said, “Another of our seven trustees, Dr Pol, is a dentist by profession but a field expert too. He chanced upon a 600-acre reservoir in some old government documents. We revived this water source that was lost to history. Now the problem has been resolved.”
Nana said, “Work has just started. There are 20 widows you are helping. But there are 200 more behind them with their palms folded, looking at you with pleading eyes. Would they need to fold their palms if their husbands were alive?”
One of the donors, who contributed to the raising of Rs. 6 crore, is a beggar from Pune who gave Rs 300. Six women conservancy workers who sweep Matunga’s streets pooled their money and handed over Rs 3,000. APMC loaders from Navi Mumbai assisted. To provide transparency and feedback, the NGO’s ledger includes a variety of payments ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 2 lakh, along with the name, cheque number, and phone number of each individual donor.
Although it looks like a massive sum, this is a very small amount. The people of Mumbai should be more generous to contribute towards a worthy cause. And each of one of us should do whatever we can to help the poor.