Did you watch last night’s Kaun Banega Crorepati presented by Amitabh Bachchan on Sony TV? If you didn’t, then you missed out on an incredibly emotional and inspiring episode. The show was special for more than just Aamir Khan appearing as a special guest. His appearance on KBC 10 gave an impression that this was to promote Thugs of Hindostan, which also stars Amitabh Bachchan. But, as it turned out, Aamir’s decision to join KBC 10 was for a noble cause.
Friday night’s KBC had one Jalaluddin Ghazi from West Bengal as a contestant. His story is of utter grit and determination even in the face of extreme adversity. Ghazi told Bachchan and Aamir Khan that he had to quit his education soon after Class 2 because of his inability to buy books and other study material because of his family’s poor background. Ghazi, now in his 60s, shared his devastation that he was forced to quit his studies soon after he meritoriously completed his Class 2.
This, he continued, haunted him all his life as he remained frustrated for not being able to fulfill his ambition to become a doctor or a lawyer. Unable to manage the day-to-day expenses, his family moved to Kolkata for a better opportunity. Ghazi said that his family’s condition did not improve even after they shifted to the state capital, where they were forced to live on the pavement and beg for a living.
“I started pulling a hand-rickshaw when I was a little older. I did so for few years until I could drive a taxi. This was in the early 80s, when I requested one of my neighbours to teach me to drive. I had got married by then. The deal I struck with my neighbour was that my wife will work at his house as a maid if he gave me driving lessons. This was to ensure that I learnt my driving in a relatively short time,” he said.
Once he became a taxi driver, he decided to use his earnings to make a difference in the the lives of poor students, who were struggling to continue with their studies due to shortage of money. He would ask his passengers to donate some money over and above the fare for the journey. “Some refused while other would be generous,” he said.
He then came up with a novel idea to fulfill his long desire of providing education to the poor in a bid to ensure that they did not have to give up their study for the paucity of funds as was the case with Ghazi. He decided to train his neighbours to be taxi drivers. But there were two conditions they had to meet. “The first condition they had to agree to was that each one of them would have to donate Rs 5 to me every month once they started earning as taxi drivers. The second condition was they had to agree to train two more people to be taxi drivers,” Ghazi said. This idea led to the training of at least 400 individual professional drivers.
Presently Ghazi runs three primary schools, where more than 400 poor students receive education from 19-odd teachers. Ghazi said that his real dream was to set up a college so that students studying at his schools go on to become doctors, engineers and lawyers.
His story moved both Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan with both of them deciding to join his initiative. Aamir said that he had agreed to be a part of the show on Friday after he heard Ghazi’s story. Although, Ghazi won Rs 25 lakh on the show for his cause, Aamir and Bachchan promised to help him financially in their individual capacity.
This was one KBC show that will stay with millions for a long time to come.