Netizens plea BCCI: Will drought-hit farmers be rescued?

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah
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Bengaluru, April 13: As the nation is facing one of its worst droughts in the recent times, the fight to claim ownership over water is out in the open. It is a war between the rich and the poor, literally. On one hand, it is the powerful cricket body BCCI's prerogative to host IPL matches in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur and on the opposite end are poor farmers of drought-hit Maharashtra.

In such a scenario, it is not very hard to predict which side will win the battle.

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However, in the David versus Goliath battle, the poor farmers are not alone. Several netizens have come forward to help the drought-hit farmers in their time of crisis.

One such netizen is Mumbai-based Rushabh Mamania, who has started an online petition to shift IPL 2016 matches out of drought-hit Maharashtra on Change.org. The petition of the college-going student has been signed by more 50,000 people.

Later the petition would be submitted to the Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, requesting him to take steps to avoid water wastage and shift the IPL matches out of the state.

Mamania's petition is co-addressed to the BCCI president Shashank Manohar and Mumbai Cricket Association president Sharad Pawar.

His petition has a picture of a farmer looking up in the sky with his hands folded in prayer, in what is evidently an emotional appeal to the rain gods.

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"We are taught to treat the entire world as a family, how can we remain insensitive to the continuing farmers tragedy in our own state? Can you turn a blind eye to the sufferings of our farmers, who are the "annadatta"? This is the time to show sympathy to our "annadatta"," reads Mamania's petition.

"A standard cricket/football oval requires a minimum of 80,000 - 100,000 litres of water per application.

Approximately 2 - 3 applications are required per week (160,000 - 300,000 litres per week) to maintain turf growth and repair damaged areas. More water is needed in hot windy conditions and less in cooler conditions. IPL season starts in Mumbai from April 09, 2016 with the finals in Mumbai on May 29, 2016. A total of 19 matches will be played in the Maharashtra i.e. Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur. Thus in the 19 Matches to be played in Maharashtra about around more than 70 lakh litres of water will be used to maintain the cricket grounds. When our state is affected by drought will it be wise to waste 70 lakh litres of water? It is true that the state will earn some revenue out of these matches but it cannot be at the cost of sufferings of our farmers," adds the petition.

One more online petition titled--Request BCCI to adopt Maharashtra villages--on Change.org has been posted by Somesh Batra, an NRI. Batra's petition is addressed to the BCCI president Shashank Manohar and BCCO home secretary Anurag Thakur.

[Read: Drought-hit Latur gets 5 lakh litres of water ]

"This petition is not against the BCCI or the IPL organisers, who are doing a fabulous job by hosting the IPL. It is a request to the BCCI," states the petition of Batra. It adds, "So, I request BCCI to adopt few villages in Maharashtra, which is under severe drought situation."

Now, we have to see whether the world of cricket will play a fair match in favour of the farmers.

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