LATUR: Actors Nana Patekar and Makrand Anaspure distributed cheques of financial aid to as many as 113 families of farmers from Latur and Osmanabad districts of Marathwada, who have committed suicides, owing to drought and indebtedness. The kin of the deceased were given cheque of Rs 15,000 each at a function held here yesterday.
"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 told reporters later.
"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 is transient and it cannot be tackled by one party alone. Many people have helped (farmers) in their own ways, we are just postmen," the 64-year-old actor said.
Patekar and Anaspure, a famous Marathi actor, had launched a drive to help the distressed families of farmers in the wake of drought and suicides.
On August 10, they had provided financial assistance of Rs 15,000 each to the families of 62 farmers from Vidarbha region, who had committed suicide.
At the function, both the actors personally went to the seats of the kin and handed them over the cheques.
In his appeal to farmers, Patekar asked them not to surrender to the situation.
"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 the percentage of suicide of Muslim farmers being negligible, Patekar said, "This is because Holy Quran terms suicide as a sin and the betrayal of God's will. This teaching of Quran touches my heart," the actor added.