Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan welcomed Ruma Devi from Rajasthan as a celebrity contestant on his quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati on Friday night. The inspirational story of Ruma left everyone mesmerised. Also assisting her in the game was Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha, who was so impressed with Ruma’s journey that she promised to help her launch her own fashion brand and even become its brand ambassador for free.
As expected Ruma could not believe her luck. Ruma, who was the Karamveer contestant on the KBC, is the president of her NGO, Gramin Vikas Evam Chetna Sansthan, and has single-handedly transformed the lives of thousands of women in the area. She currently provides employment to nearly 22,000 women from around 75 villages of Barmer, Bikaner and Jaisalmer.
Several women who worked for Ruma had accompanied her to the show. One of them said that before she came in contact with Ruma, she lived in abject poverty. According to the woman, her husband wanted to study but the family could barely earn enough to survive. Ruma, she said, trained her with necessary skills of handicraft and now she’s earning more than Rs 15,000 every month. “I was able to finance the education of my husband, who’s now employed with the Indian Railways,” she said.
Amitabh Bachchan too was awestruck by Ruma’s story. It was Bachchan, who asked Ruma why she had not thought of launching her own brand. To this, Sonakshi promised to help the inspirational lady from Barmer in Rajasthan. “I will make sure that you have your own brand. I will also become its brand ambassador,” Sonakshi told her.
Ruma’s journey has been nothing less than amazing. She faced oppositions from her in-laws when she expressed her desire to be independent. She left her in-laws’ house for few years. Today, she is being hailed as a true icon. Ruma has worked with several fashion designers including Bibi Russel, Abraham and Thakore, Hemant Trivedi, Anita Dongre and Rohit Kumar.