Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan was a picture of humility at the Kaun Banega Crorepati 10 (KBC 10) press conference, while not accepting any credit for the show's success, and talking about his social causes.
At the event held in Mumbai's Film City in Goregaon on the sets of KBC 10, Amitabh Bachchan spoke about the quiz show and its contestants and format. But what really touched those present was how he articulates the causes close to his heart, whether endorsing polio and hepatitis campaigns or donating money to farmers and martyr families.
Amitabh Bachchan has always said that meeting the contestants of KBC from different walks of life has made him emotional, in every season of the show. He reiterated that seeing their struggle and how they overcome their difficulties to go on to win on the show or do well in their lives not only makes the KBC team emotional but also teaches them about life and struggle.
The legendary actor especially spoke of a girl, a contestant on KBC 10, who belonged to a very poor family and yet went on to be a bus conductor, fighting prejudices, harassment and financial hardship.
Speaking of the causes close to his heart, Amitabh Bachchan said that he has been associated with the government's polio campaign for long. He spoke of how they've had a fight there too, with some people opposing the anti-polio drive saying it would lead to impotency and such ignorant beliefs.
The actor spoke also about the cause closest to his heart - that of hepatitis. It is a known fact that Amitabh Bachchan is living on 25 percent of his liver. He had spoken about it years ago. The actor informed that after his Coolie accident, due to a blood transfusion he contracted hepatitis. "I am associated with a number of social causes whether it Hepatitis...Tuberculosis. I have been struggling with hepatitis since 1982. In 2006, I discovered that it ate up to 75 per cent of my liver. I joined the campaign so that it creates awareness and people start doing tests...," he said. "It is called (liver) cirrhosis. I don't drink but I contracted it."
Amitabh Bachchan also spoke at length about how the farmers' suicide in the country shocked him and especially the fact that they were happening for small sums like Rs 15,000 or Rs 20,000. The Thugs of Hindostan actor said that a few years ago, he along with a team got a list of 50 such families and paid off their loans.
He also spoke about helping 50 more such families of farmers to prevent suicides and further helping the families of Indian soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the country. Mr Bachchan has plans to donate Rs 1 crore to the families of martyrs and Rs 1.25 crore to 200 farmers for their loans.
"I have always been bothered by reading about farmers' suicides. Many years ago, I was shooting in Vizag and read that farmers who had loaned Rs 15,000, Rs 20,000 or Rs 30,000 and couldn't pay back and were committing suicide... I came back and paid for 40-50 families...This time I am paying Rs 1.25 crore to 200 farmers' families. I went to my bank, which is Bank of India, and we got a list of all the farmers' loans and there were 200 loans and that's what I am paying off," Mr Bachchan said.
About martyr families, he said, "Just yesterday, we got a list of 44 families from the government. We have prepared 112 demand drafts to the value of Rs 1 crore.... There is a system in the government. Sixty per cent of the amount has to go to the wife, twenty per cent to the father and twenty per cent to the mother... Like this, we have divided the amount for 44 families of martyrs."
On KBC 10, the format this time will have augmented reality and an extra helpline 'Ask the Expert'. The quiz show will also have tougher questions.
Kaun Banega Crorepati 10 will air from September 3, 2018, onwards on Sony Entertainment Television.