Bollywood actor Nana Patekar wants top Maharashtra leaders to come together to face the challenge posed by drought as no single party can tackle it alone.
“The challenge of drought is staring us in the face… I feel leaders like Sharad Pawar (NCP chief), Narayan Rane (Congress leader), and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis should come together to fight the crisis,” Patekar said.
Patekar, who distributed financial aid to 113 families of farmers from Latur and Osmanabad districts who committed suicide owing to drought and indebtedness, however, said he does not know if his wish to see these leaders unitedly fighting the scourge will come true.
“This (drought) is a natural calamity. I don’t know whether my wish (of these leaders coming together) will be fulfilled or not. The drought cannot be tackled by one party alone,” he told reporters yesterday.
Patekar and Marathi actor Makrand Anaspure, who have undertaken to help the distressed farming families trying to come to terms with their tragedies, distributed cheques for Rs 15,000 to 113 such families.
The actors personally went to the seats of the kin and handed over the cheques to them.
Patekar also gave them a pep talk and asked them to keep fighting, while pitching for guaranteed price for their produce. “Keep fighting. Farmers will not see good days unless their produce gets a guaranteed price. Even a notebook, a pen or even a soap has price printed on them, but milk that farmers sell do not have any price,” the “Krantiveer” actor said.
On August 10, they had provided financial assistance of Rs 15,000 each to the families of 62 farmers from the parched Vidarbha region who had committed suicide.
“Many people have helped (farmers) in their own ways, we are just postmen,” the 64-year-old actor said.
He said the number of Muslim farmers ending their lives was negligible because Quran held suicide as a sin. “Holy Quran terms suicide as a sin and betrayal of God’s will. This teaching of Quran touches my heart,” he said.