\With several villages across Maharashtra like Latur, Jalgaon, Nanded and Aurangabad facing severe drought crisis, many from the Bollywood fraternity have voiced their concerns and come forward to help the families facing the situation.
Over 90 lakh farmers have been affected by the shortage of water and have died due to severe dehydration. In lieu of this, the makers of BANJO decided to do their bit and re-worked a Ganapati song sequence that would require several litres of water. Actor Riteish Deshmukh was a strong advocate of the opinion that there are other ways to engage the viewer and along with the crew decided to rework the said song sequence and avoid wasting water.Riteish says, “I hail from Latur and am fully aware of the drought situation currently across many regions in and around my hometown.
In such a scenario, it didn’t feel right for us to use excess water for filming a particular scene, it was a unanimous decision between the producer, director and me to rework the scene.“KrishikaLulla the producer of the film added, “The sequence originally had Riteish dancing with his band in a rain sequence during the Ganpati song and this would have resulted in wasting a lot of water. Being responsible citizens, and understanding the seriousness of the water crisis in the State, we opted for dhol, gulal and dance instead, to create a festive revelry without compromising the look or feel.” Adding to the cause, at a recent visit to his hometown Latur, actor Riteish Deshmukh donated Rs 25 lakhs to ‘Jalyukta Latur’ as his contribution towards drought relief.Jalyukta Latur is an initiative started by people’s participation to make Latur water sufficient. They have taken up work of desilting the Manjra River which provides water to the area.
The work involved includes Deepening and widening up the site to 80 metres across 18 km stretch. This will help contain the rain water and it will be made available through out the year. Riteish visited the site and was impressed by the work done by ‘JalYuktaLatur’ and decided to contribute towards this cause. One of the visitors on site even asked him for his thoughts, since he is from Latur, if he would agree to be the face of this campaign. To this, Riteish readily agreed to extend his support.