Ideas are always bigger than the star: Aamir Khan

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By HT

Mumbai, April 30 -- Actor Aamir Khan is someone who believes in following what he preaches. When he took up the issue of draught struck Maharashtra in his show Satyamev Jayate in 2016, he, along with the show's director Satyajit Bhatkal started a campaign called Paani Foundation, aiming to help 90 per cent of the draught affected areas in the state. 

The movement has gathered momentum now, and the actor gives all the credit to the great idea and the director of his show, not his celebrity status. 

"The idea has to be something good, something that can work. This was Satyajit's idea. If the idea is not strong, then no matter how many celebrities push for it, it's not going to work. The idea is always the bigger thing. Only then can celebrities give it a push. It's not just me, a lot of celebrities from Marathi cinema have joined the movement," says Aamir.

The actor started shramdaan (voluntary labour) in 2016 and marked it on May 1 (Maharashtra Day and Labour Day), asking city dwellers and villagers to come to villages and help the rural population in watershed management. Aamir and Satyamev Jayate's team has trained villagers in watershed management. In 2016, the pilot year of the campaign, about 1,000 people participated in shramdaan, and this year, more than one lakh people from cities and more than 3-4 lakh people from villages are expected to join hands for the cause.

Aamir explains how he will execute his May 1 plan this year: "When you sign up, you choose the taluka closest to you. When you reach the village, there will be a registration desk where you will be given a spot. The entire area is mapped out with chalk. For instance, if you are told to go to position 7A, there is will be a rectangular drawing at that spot where you will dig. We kept 25 April until midnight as the deadline to register because we needed at least four to five days to plan everything."

Aamir knows that making Maharashtra draught free is no easy task, but that doesn't deter him a bit. "Initially, Satya and I were nervous. In my experience, the biggest obstacle you have is your own doubts. It is always your internal self which sometimes makes you feel 'ki ye nahi hoga'. When we surpassed the self doubt phase, we plunge in. We thought that even if we fail, we would like to give it a shot," he says.