Actor Nana Patekar’s efforts to help drought-hit farmers of Maharashtra have began on a brilliant note, with his Naam Foundation collecting Rs.80 lakh in a day. “We have set up an account for Naam Foundation and in a day nearly Rs.80 lakh was collected. It’s not true that people are not willing to help those affected, it’s just that they’re not assured if their money goes to the right place or not. But now they have faith in us that we’re doing an honest work,” said Patekar, while celebrating Ganesh festival at his home.
Nana Patekar. Pic/Sameer Markande
“A significant amount is being collected. And we have formulated a comprehensive structure for it. And as soon as Ganpati visarjan is over, we’ll go to Khandesh and Vidarbha and will attempt to do something for those affected,” he said. Many regions of Maharashtra are facing a drought-like situation due to lack of rain which has adversely affected the farmers. Many have committed suicide. Patekar kept the Ganpati celebrations extremely low-key, and also put up pictures of the crisis. Patekar along with actor Makrand Anaspure recently distributed financial help to 113 families in Latur and Osmanabad. Both of therm are the brains behind Naam Foundation. On the Ganesh festival coinciding with the drought crisis, he said: “We decided to give cheques to 800 people but it’s saddening that in the span of one month, 30 names get added to the list. So, you should definitely celebrate the festival, but if you could send a bit of money for them, then it would be great.” “There is always talk that the government is not doing enough and we put the entire blame on them. But we can do a lot, so let the government do its own work.” On actor Akshay Kumar offering Rs.90 lakh for the cause, he said, “It is heartening that people are coming forward and are willing to give money. It’s not true that industry celebrities are not giving money and there are numerous who are willing to donate.”