Paani Foundation today announced the winners of the 4th Edition of Satyamev Jayate Water Cup 2019 at an award ceremony hosted by Mr. Aamir Khan and Ms. Kiran Rao, Founders of Paani foundation, and Mr. Satyajit Bhatkal, CEO of Paani Foundation.
The event was held at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune in the presence of more than 6,000 villagers from all over of Maharashtra. Leading lights from the world of film, television, media and business were also present to celebrate the stellar work done by lakhs of villagers to make their villages drought-free.
The first prize of Rs. 75 lakhs was given to Surdi village from Barshi taluka of district Solapur. The second prize of Rs 50 lakhs was given jointly to Shindi Khurd village from taluka Maan of district Satara and Pimpari Jalsen village from taluka Parner of district Ahmednagar.
The third prize of Rs. 40 lakhs were given jointly to Boravha Budruk village from taluka Mangrulpir of district Washim, Devryachiwadi village from taluka Beed of district Beed and Aanore village Amalner taluka of district Jalgaon.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis could not attend the program as he was busy handling the flood situation in the state. However, he interacted with the attendees through video conferencing. He said "It is a strange coincidence that on the one hand, we are facing drastic flood situation and on the other, we are celebrating our fight against draught-free Maharashtra. We are trying our level best to control the flood situation.”
Giving a futuristic view with regards to Paani Foundation’s work Aamir Khan announced another competition which would focus on issues like crop, soil & water management. He appealed villagers on these 3 issues to eradicate the evil of drought from Maharashtra.
Sharing his views on the journey of Paani Foundation Mr. Aamir Khan said, “Even though the drought situation is in control today, the journey of drought-free Maharashtra will have to continue. Underlining that it is important not to win or lose in this competition. He said, "All the participating villages in our view are the winners. We all have to keep in minds that we have not lost the famine yet. The famine may return if we don’t continue the work. We can only completely defeat the drought if we focus on soil, grass and crop planning along with the watershed management. "
Speaking on the occasion, Kiran Rao said, "In view of the flood situation created in the state and the country, we have decided to do this program simply.
Satyajit Bhatkal, Chief Executive Officer of Paani Foundation said, " This is the fourth year of the competition this year, but to date there has never been such a tough situation. There was a lot of doubt as to whether or not to contest because the rain had dropped last year and elections came during the competition period. Yet, this year 4726 villages have been trained and 4154 villages participated in the actual competition. These villages have shown their Irresistible willpower. Water cup is creating social capital in the villages. Let’s use this social capital to face future challenges." He added.
Popatrao Pawar, chairman of the competition's examining committee, underlined the need for farmers to change the crop system. He said, "It was difficult to determine the winners as the competition has been so tough this year compared to the last three years. We have to adopt the eighth method of irrigation, change the method of market-based crops, otherwise India will be destroyed in 10 years. He also appealed the young people to be a part of the Paani family instead of involving in DJs and statues. He appreciated Paani Foundation, saying that the concept of watershed management was truly passed on by the Paani Foundation.
Mr. Aamir Khan and Ms. Kiran Rao, Founders of Paani Foundation, and Mr. Satyajit Bhatkal, CEO of Paani Foundation appreciated the funders, partners, villagers and all the members of Paani Foundation for being the part of this wonderful journey for the last 4 years. Also, the funders appreciated the work done by the team to bring about a positive change in respective villages.
Satyamev Jayate Water Cup is a competition between different villages to see who can do the best work for watershed management and water conservation in the period of the competition, i.e. from 8th April to 22nd May 2019. Every revenue village in the selected talukas is eligible to participate provided they undergo Paani Foundation’s training in the science of watershed management.
In 2019, the competition witnessed the participation of more than 4700 villages from 76 talukas from 24 districts of Maharashtra. Over 20,000
villagers were trained in watershed management by Paani Foundation. Over half a million people participated in the shramdaan during the Water Cup. The water storage capacity created by this year’s competition is approximately 26,000 crore litres.