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Aparna Malikar : A Vidarbha Widow’s Winning Story on KBC

Aparna and Manjusha

Two years ago, her world plunged into darkness when her husband committed suicide. Left with his debts and two small children, little did she imagine a turn around in fortunes, which came in the form of the popular television show, Kaun Banega crorepati.   Like the hero in the Oscar winning film “Slumdog Millionaire’, she sat on the hot seat across to the biggest icon of India Amitabh Bachchan, and also won a considerable sum which can assure a better future for her small family.
That’s the story of Aparma Malikar who will feature in a special episode of KBC at the end of September. The 27 year old widow from Vara-Kawatha in Yavatmal district, Vidarbha won Rs. 6,40,000 and an additional help of Rs. 50,000 from Amitabh Bachchan who hosts the show.
"I cannot even say it was a dream come true. I never dreamt of such an event in my life," says Aparna. The three days spent in Mumbai for the shoot was a different world itself for someone who rarely ever stepped out of her village. "I had never been to Mumbai in my 27 years, never traveled in an aircraft nor stayed in a hotel," she said. "I was extremely nervous when I was in the aircraft and even more nervous while I stayed at a five-star hotel,"
Compared to the nervousness caused by the occasion, the questions in the competition seemed easier for Aparna, a school dropout. "The questions were not so difficult. In fact, I knew answers to the questions I used lifelines for," she said. "But the set, the ambience, the extremely polite, yet high profile audience and Bachchan sa'ab himself made me very, very aware of the fact that I am in an entirely different world. This made me forget my answers," she added.
Aparna with her daughters
With the price money, Aparna first plans to pay off the debt of Rs. 60,000 and then put away some for the proper education and upbringing of her two daughters, seven year old Rohini and 3 years old Samruddi. A proper concrete house to live in is also another priority since the current one they are staying in is ready to collapse any time.
This chance came Aparna’s way because of the efforts of team of KBC to feature Vidarbha on the show after coming across many reports of the ongoing agrarian crisis there. On the KBC episode, Manjusha, 18, from the village Talang-Talki of Yavatmal district whose father commited suicide in one of the first such cases in 1999, was the special guest accompanying Aparna. Manjusha is currently studying journalism in Nagpur University. Both the women got further support from Kishore Tiwari, a Nagpur based social activist and Swapna Iyer, co-producer of the show who toured the region for the ground work for the special epoisode. 
The host of KBC, Amitabh Bachchan himself and a number of other celebrities including Deepa Mehta, Sharmila Tagore, Magsaysay award winner P. Srinath and BJP leader Nitin Gadkari also has promised for long time assistance for the farmers in crisis.
After the episode, Mr. Bachchan wrote on his blog "I am afraid there is not much that can be said after my time spent among the 'bleeding hearts' on this wonderful programme."
"She still keeps her 'mangalsutra' on her neck because she fears harassment from other men, who trouble her with threats and envious motives. But she is resolved. She does not want to give up. She will fight her way through, she says, bring up her children, earn her living through the hard work on the fields," he wrote. In his blogpost, Bachchan said he did not have words to express his anguish and grief at this state. "But there it was. Stark, brutal and honest," he wrote.

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0 #1 giftvouchersmate 2011-11-17 05:35
nice article. please include dates in articles.
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