Mumbai: Actor Riteish Deshmukh's cousin Abhijeet will head an adoption initiative in Maharashtra's Latur district for nearly 25 families of farmers who have committed suicide due to agrarian crisis in last few years.
The initiative is part of a rehabilitation programme launched by Aadhishakti Foundation, under which it has decided to adopt 125 families from the drought-affected Marathwada region, comprising Beed, Latur, Jalna, Usmanabad and Parbhani districts.
"Riteish is from Latur, so his cousin brother Abhijeet will work there and look after the families we are adopting in the district," Datta Pawar, president of the foundation, told reporters.
The "Housefull" star cannot be directly involved in the helping process owing to his busy schedule but "he is the guardian of Latur," Pawar said.
"It is a sad time for all of us. However, instead of lamenting on the agricultural crisis and blaming each other, we need to provide help to families of the deceased farmers on an emergency basis," programme director DY Patil said.
The NGO will undertake the rehabilitation programme in three phases - providing basic needs like education and medical care, setting up business closely linked to agriculture, and enlist the help of agricultural experts for scientific approach to farming.
It plans to expand the programme and adopt nearly 250 families in the future.