Talking about the struggles and victories of Indian girls, Amitabh Bachchan narrated the story of a contestant who won Rs.50 lakh at his game show KBC despite her father refusing to spend money on her education. Amitabh said Indian girls defy adversities to go forward in life.
Amitabh, who anchors the popular television game show Kaun Banega Crorepati, said the young woman came from a very poor background in rural India. "She was very young, she came from a rural area of India - very poor, very disconnected from rest of the world," he said in his inaugural address at the opening of the 20th Kolkata International Film Festival.
The mega star, also the United Nations Ambassador for the Girl Child, spoke on the condition of women in the society and their changing roles which have been depicted on the silver screen. He said the girl was allowed to study only upto the seventh standard. But when she wanted to study further, her father refused. "Why should I waste more money on you by educating you further. Because you are going to get married, and you will be of no use to me," he quoted the father as telling the girl.
The girl objected, fought against the family and left the house to stay with her grandmother. But the grandmother treated the girl even worse and made her do all kinds of menial work. However, she continued to educate herself, and landed up in the hotseat at KBC. "Ladies and gentlemen, this lady won Rs.50 lakh in the contest," Bachchan proudly announced, as the entire Netaji Indoor stadium reverberated with applause after listening to the real life story of the gritty girl in pin drop silence.
"When I asked her what she wanted to do with the money, she said: 'I am going to take this cheque to my father and tell him that a daughter is also an asset to the family'." Turning emotional, Amitabh said the issue of the girl child was very close to his heart. "As United Nations Ambassador for the Girl Child, personally, for me this subject then is very close to my heart."