Patekar, who participated in the desilting of Khadakwasla reservoir near Pune through his non-profit venture, was speaking at the inaugural function of the work.
"Some people might feel that the issue of Ram Mandir is very important. But, when a poor person gets bread, that is like going to the temple for me. Everybody is free to have their own opinion. Those who want to build Ram Temple can hold on to their opinions," Patekar said.
Patekar, who has been part of water and soil conservation efforts in Maharashtra through his non-profit venture, said, "If a person donates a fistful of food grain and a bundle of grass, they could be used to feed hungry people and livestock in Marathwada. People have now started coming to cities to fulfil their needs. They are not beggars. So don't treat them as one," Patekar said.
On the farmers' march to Delhi, Patekar said people resort to protest when their basic needs are not met. "Farmers are forced to take out marches as their needs and aspirations aren't met. The government alone can't fulfil all their needs. Charitable organisations also need to come forward," the actor said.