Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan and corporate heavyweights like Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Rajshri Birla and the Anil Ambani group have come forward to join the state government’s scheme to develop 1,000 villages.
Under the scheme ‘Participation (Sahbhag in Hindi)’, the corporates will provide funds as well as expertise to improve infrastructure, education and human index to develop the villages. This was announced in a meeting of the corporate heads and celebrities at the Mantralaya. Mr Fadnavis headed the meeting. The corporate sector responded well to the government’s appeal and assured long-term partnership with the government for the social change.
Agreeing to back the government in its village transformation mission, Mr Tata said that now the time has come to pay attention to the villages. “There is a growing realisation in the country that we should focus on rural areas. We industrialised our cities, but the rural areas did not receive similar degree of attention. I appreciate the CM for his initiative to transform Maharashtra’s hinterland. His involvement of rural community in the work, is a wonderful initiative,” Mr Tata said.
Impressed by the government’s planning, Mr Mahindra said that he was willing to provide all the possible help to make the initiative successful. “The collaboration of the private sector impressed me the most. I can say that the government is not doing mere lip service here,” he said.
Mr Bachchan, who is a part of the government’s ‘save tigers’ mission, also extended his support for the village transformation project. “I have been a part of a number of initiatives by both the state and central governments, including the save tiger mission, eradication of TB programme and Swachcha Bharat Abhiyan. However, this initiative seems to be a convergence of all of them. I will lend my voice and face to make people aware of this initiative,” said Mr Bachchan.
Ms Birla assured of adopting 300 villages and developing them. Other celebrities present at the meeting were Managing Director of JSW Sajjan Jindal, Rajkumar Dhoot of Videocon Group of Companies, senior scientist Anil Kakodkar and computer expert Vijay Bhatkar.