Mumbai: Moved by the plight of a Vidarbha widow who appeared on his show Kaun Banega Crorepati, Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan has given her Rs.100,000 to take care of her two daughters’ education after earlier promising help of Rs.50,000, an official said here Saturday.
Aparna Malikar, a 27-year-old widow from Vara-Kawatha village in Yavatmal district, will feature next week in a special episode of the reality game show hosted by Bachchan, in which she won Rs.640,000.
Saddened by the plight of the thousands of farm widows in Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashra, Bachchan had announced an additional personal contribution of Rs.50,000 to Aparna.
However, Kishor Tiwari, a Nagpur-based social activist who works for the cause of farmers and farm widows, said that Aparna has received a demand draft of Rs.100,000,double of what Bachchan promised her.
“This has happened due to you (IANS), which broke the news which was covered by all print and electronic media in this region and elsewhere in the country,” Tiwari told IANS, appreciating its efforts in highlighting the issue.
The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) chief said that “it was a pleasant surprise to receive a demand draft and a signed letter from Bachchan” by a special courier from Mumbai.
In the letter addressed to Aparna, Bachchan has written in Hindi: “Aparnaji, despite all the hardships, you have displayed great courage, this is really commendable. I welcome your views on the education for your children. Here is a small gift from me. Please accept it.”
Tiwari said that VJAS has deeply thanked Bachchan for his gracious gesture to the poor widow.
He urged civil society members to come to the aid of more than 12,000 farm widows who are facing starvation and live in miserable conditions.
On Monday, in a special dispatch from Mumbai, IANS had highlighted the plight of Aparna–a school dropout, a widow at 25 and mother of two minor girls Rohini, 7, and Samruddhi, 3.
In the Kaun Banega Crorepati episode, she said her first step would be to clear off her late husband’s farm debt of Rs.60,000 and spend the remaining amount on her daughters’ education.