Mission Paani: Athletes have platform to act as influencers and promote social causes, says Kiren Rijiju

Speaking on Tuesday’s Mission Paani Waterthon, sports minister Kiren Rijiju said athletes have the platform to act as influencers and promote social causes.

Rijiju was part of the Mission Paani programme —  an initiative by News18 and Harpic India — for which an eight-hour telethon was held hosted by Akshay Kumar, the ambassador of the campaign.

Rijiju was among a host of eminent personalities from different walks of life who took the Jal Pratigya, a water oath.

The waterthon also included celebrities such as AR Rahman, Mallika Sarabhai, Prasoon Joshi, Sadhguru, HH Chidanand Swami, Rajkumar Rao, Mandira Bedi, Neha Dhupia, Dia Mirza, Gul Panag, Bhumi Pednekar, Vishwanathan Anand and Smriti Mandhana, among others.

Union ministers and political dignitaries, such as Gajendra Singh Shekhawat – Minister of Jal Shakti, Department of Water Resources, RD & GR, Dr Harsh Vardhan – Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Science & Tech, Earth Sciences, Govt of India, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ – Minister, Human Resource Development, Government of India, Smriti Irani – Union Cabinet Minister for Textiles and Women & Child Development, Nitin Gadkari – Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Government of India were also a part of the programme.

During the programme, Rijiju called on the athletes to invest in social work along with winning in their respective sports. “Youth and athletes can act as influencers. In my state, I encourage sportspersons to participate in social work along with focusing on winning medals,” he said.

After Rijiju, Chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand also joined the mission and said the country has to respond to the crisis at hand.

“We have to respond to India’s water crisis now. It’s already happening. We can’t wait for things to completely fall apart,” he said.

You can contribute to the cause by taking a Jal Pratigya. Visit www.news18.com/mission-paani

Watch the Waterthon LIVE here.

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