TBI Blogs: How a Dental Surgeon Gave a Forgotten Fort a Facelift and His Drought-Prone Region a Spring of Hope

Paani Foundation is a not-for-profit company set up by Aamir Khan and Kiran Rao in early 2016 in order to work towards creating a drought-free Maharashtra.

Ajinkyatara is one of the most important historical monuments in western Maharashtra, but languished in a state of dilapidation for many years. Watch how the efforts of a group of volunteers, led by a local dental surgeon, helped restore the fort and its surroundings.

Ajinkyatara, a 12th century fort that overlooks the historic city of Satara in western Maharashtra, may have had a prestigious place in Maratha history but not long ago, it was an ignored ruin. Dr. Avinash Pol, a dental surgeon living in Satara (and now an integral part of Paani Foundation) dreamed of transforming this situation – not by petitioning the government but by using his own two hands.

Dr. Pol and two other volunteers would meet every morning and do shramdaan, i.e. manual work, for two hours. Gradually, the group grew to around 40 volunteers from diverse backgrounds who do shramdaan daily 365 days of the year. Starting with cleaning the fort area, the group moved on to watershed management work on the large hilltop. Numerous water bodies on the hilltop came back to life as ground water levels in Satara city rose dramatically.

Ajinkyatara is the story of the power of citizens’ initiatives.

 
To watch the video in Marathi, visit http://youtu.be/SSwzbjedino

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