Sweet smell of success for Sunmeet

11 Jan,2013

 

 

By Kshama Rao

 

This Saturday, Sunmeet Kaur Sawhney will become the first woman to win the panchkoti gyaan kumbh of Kaun Banega Crorepati. The homemaker from Mumbai (originally from Chandigarh) is naturally pleased to have “made a name” for herself with the Rs 5 crore win. “My husband firmly believes that women should make a name for themselves. And I have made him proud,” says the mother of two daughters.

 

Sony Entertainment Channel which is at Number 4 on the GEC chart this week couldn’t have better timed this victory as this Saturday the show (which enjoyed a TRP of 3.5 in the last week of December) is likely to face its stiffest opposition in the form of the Bigg Boss finale and Nach Baliye 5 (which has already opened pleasantly). Says a channel insider, “We are going all out to promote Sunmeet’s episode and it’s a great victory, something viewers will definitely enjoy watching. Whenever there is a big victory and especially if it’s an underdog – in this case, Sunmeet is a 12th pass housewife – people love to watch it. Of course, at the end of the day, we can only hope to garner more eyeballs because these days you never know which way the viewership will go given the other programmes on weekends.”

 

Ratings apart, Ms Sawhney’s victory also comes at the right time with the Delhi rape case hitting the morale of women to an all-time low. Ms Sawhney says she can only hope her victory could bring a ray of hope for her ilk.

 

Rahat Taslim

Winners of previous editions of KBC are happy for Ms Sawhney’s success. Says Rahat Taslim, who won a crore in Season 4, “Right now, I am putting together my own ladies’ garment shop in Jharkhand which I plan to launch in March. When I read about Sunmeet’s victory, I was more than happy because she won five crore and that’s a huge achievement. Right now, the women of our country are not feeling good about the way things are going after the Delhi rape case and so I feel Sunmeet’s achievement is every woman’s achievement.”

 

Taslim believes that women of this country haven’t had easy “with so many prejudices and age-old customs and traditions like the purdah that only hamper their progress. I have gone through a lot myself and feel extremely fortunate to have participated in KBC which changed my life. I got about 70 lakhs of the prize money after tax deduction and it helped me a lot in starting a new life. But yes, I feel I could have won more if I was better prepared.”

 

Anil Kumar Sinha

Anil Kumar Sinha, a 2011 ‘crorepati’ from Patna, agrees with Taslim. “KBC changed my identity. Earlier I would be known by the bank where I worked and now it’s the other way around. I feel Sunmeet despite being a Class 12 pass and a housewife really showed how passion and a little bit of luck can take you far.” Raina says after KBC, he’s become a volunteer of sorts to anyone and everyone who wants to try their luck at the hot seat. “I get calls every day asking for tips and advice. Recently, there was a person from Coimbatore who was low on confidence. He called me up and asked me for help and I am happy he not only landed on the hot seat, he also won six lakh, forty thousand rupees. I hope a day comes when a contestant who I have guided wins a crore! That would be my biggest achievement. As for Sunmeet’s victory, I am proud of her and she could be hugely inspiring for other people, especially women.”

 

With his prize money he says he bought a house. “I am also building a nursing home in the memory of my late younger brother.”

 

Sushil Kumar

The news of Ms Sawhney’s victory is sweet music for Bihar’s Sushil Kumar, the first to win five crores last season. “I am happy a woman has done that now. Right now, it’s heartening news for everyone who lives in this country after what we went through in the last few days. I spoke to Sunmeet and am happy for her.” Tell him that his big win last season was one of the major reasons that inspired Ms Sawhney to try her luck and he brushes it off saying, “It feels good when someone is inspired by you because I too am inspired by many people and their stories. So it’s an achievement for me when someone participates in the show only because I could inspire them. Sunmeet has shown that a big degree is not what you need but a desire to get knowledge and continue learning is what makes success possible.”

 

Mr Kumar who tried his luck at a dance reality show after KBC says right now he’s happy being in his library which he has started with part of the prize money. “I have repaid loans, bought land and am building a house now for my family. I am happy.”

 

Meanwhile, there is jubilation in the Sawhney household. The newest KBC jackpot winner couldn’t finish her graduation because she lived with her grandparents for most of her childhood and had to give up studies as her grandfather, who she was closest to, was diagnosed with cancer and wanted to see here married. I “dropped studies but my husband proved to be the best decision of my life as he encouraged me to dream big.” The homemaker, who’s been giving home tuitions after a surgery left her bedridden for a few months, says her students can’t have enough of her victory.

 

And after this weekend, we are sure the nation too might find a reason to rejoice.

 

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