Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday expressed his thanks to the CMO staff for contributing their day’s salary towards water conservation projects across Maharashtra. The “Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan”, a flagship project of Fadnavis, was introduced with the aim of making 25,000 villages out of 40,000 drought free in next five years.
Last week Fadnavis had appealed to party workers and people not to invest any money in hoardings or advertising on his birthday; and instead lend a helping hand by contributing for the “Jalyukta Shivar Abhiyan”.
In less than six eight hours, almost Rs 6 lakhs were raised with many coming forward to make contributions ranging between Rs 500 and Rs 1 lakh.
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Fadnavis tweeted: “I thank CMO officials for birthday wishes but more than that I appreciate the gesture of donating one day salary for Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan.”
As the message spread by word of mouth, elected members and party activists also came forward to make individual contributions.
Responding to the CM’s appeal, Ajeenkya Patil chairman of the D Y Patil University has decided to provide free education to 11 students who come from families of farmers who have committed suicide.
The chief minister acknowledged each and every individual greetings and contribution as a good gesture for the noble cause. The state BJP chief Ashik Shelar and Amit Satam donated Rs 25,000 each. Sambhaji Patil contributed Rs 1 lakh for the project.
“During my tour to drought hit villages to inspect the jalyukta shivar projects, I was deeply touched with the overwhelming response from the villagers in raising funds and also physical contribution,” said Fadnavis.
Till date they have raised 250 crore across 6002 villages covering 1,20,000 water conservation works. Of these almost 85,000 works are completed.
Fadnavis acknowledged farmers who had voluntarily given funds of Rs 500 to Rs 1000 from the compensation received from government for crop damages due to hail storm of drought.
Interestingly, Shiv Sena has also decided to follow the CM. The Sena president Uddhav Thackeray has also appealed his followers to shun celebrations on his birthday on July 27 and instead contribute for welfare works of drought-hit farmers. A Sena cabinet minister said, “Uddhavji has asked us not to put hoarding and waste money. He has asked us to mobilise funds for farmers.”