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This year on the 1st of May - Maharashtra Day - there is a unique opportunity for city folk to come out in large numbers and work shoulder-to-shoulder with villagers for a few hours. Speaking at a college event in Pune, Founder of Paani Foundation, Shri Aamir Khan appealed to students and all urban citizens to become ‘Jalmitras’ and join this effort against drought. By signing up on the link jalmitra.paanifoundation.in, people from cities can register to work in villages with villagers on 1st May which is Maharashtra Day. The last date for registration for 1st May Mahashramdaan is midnight on 25th April. Around 1 lakh people have already signed up to be Jalmitras in the past three weeks.
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In 2016 Paani Foundation, a non profit company started by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao, organised the Satyamev Jayate Water Cup which is a competition held each year between villages to see which village does the best work in watershed management. This is a people’s movement for a water-abundant, prosperous Maharashtra. Paani Foundation trains people in the science of watershed management, and villagers then plan and execute various watershed management works in their village with help from the government and NGOs.
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The movement has steadily grown, and over the past two years, thousands of people in cities expressed the desire to contribute to this effort. To make it possible to volunteer and participate in different ways, Paani Foundation created the ‘Jalmitra’ - or ‘Friend of Water’ initiative, which it launched on World Water Day - 22nd March 2018. Anyone, anywhere in the world can be a Jalmitra by signing up on the link jalmitra.paanifoundation.in.