Sushil Kumar said that one of the things he wanted to do with the money was to build a library in his hometown of Motihari, Bihar province, close to the border with Nepal. He said he wanted others to be able to share in his lifelong love of books.
This town is where George Orwell, author of books “Animal Farm” and “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” was born in 1903.
Kumar watched the show in his neighbor’s house as his family was too poor to afford a television. As he answered question after question correctly, they urged him to apply for the show.
Kumar’s win echoes the plot of the 2008 Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire.
Said Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan, the show’s host who features in the movie:
“You have created history. Your grit and determination has made you come so far in this show.”
Sushil’s father Amarnath Patel said, “Mantu, third among my five sons, has been studious and inquisitive since his childhood.”
Kumar is a postgraduate in psychology and earned $120 a month as a government office worker, supplemented by working as a private tutor. He said he will now be able to pay for a preparatory course for India’s tough civil service exam, which could lead to a secure, lifetime job.
The rest of the money he would spend on a new home for his wife, paying off his parents’ debts — the family’s dilapidated ancestral house is mortgaged to a moneylender against a loan — and helping his brothers start up businesses.
Kumar’s region is the poorest in poor India and castigated as the home of ‘sweet-tongued simpletons.’ Perhaps that will now change?
Photo credit Mark Hillary