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Sushil Kumar: A Champion of Champas in Champaran

By Saurav Kumar
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Video | Sushil Kumar: A Champion of Champas in Champaran

Do you remember Sushil Kumar, the KBC winner hailing from Bihar’s Motihari? Yes, I am talking about Sushil Kumar the winner of the fifth season of Sony TV’s popular game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) in 2011, the first contestant to win Rs 5 crore as prize money. Eight years later, he has changed his life which is setting up an example of inspiration for the common man in East Champaran district of Bihar.

Life before and after KBC fame for Sushil Kumar:

Sushil Kumar, a resident of Motihari completed his early education from the town and later attained a master degree in Psychology from Munshi Singh College affiliated to Bihar University. Before attaining the success of reality show, Sushil was a civil service aspirant; he was also a computer operator with MGNREGA, the rural development ministry’s job generation scheme.

In 2011, a twist in Sushil’s life came which headed him towards a glossy, glittering world of fame after winning sum of Rs 5 crore. Just after that, he was roped in Jhalak Dikhlaja (A dance reality show) season 5 which was a second dose of fame for a computer operator coming from a small town of Motihari in north Bihar.

Post KBC success Sushil’s family got settled with business owning a house in town. Some interest income from bank fixed deposits and a joint income of the family is making them lead considerably a good life.

The social service part of his life remains a non-discussed part which includes – teaching around 1000 poor students for free at Machargawa Panchayat in Kotowa block of East Champaran; adopting a village of ‘Musahars’ 25kms away from Motihari town. Apart from this he had cleared the Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) for 2017 and is hopeful to enter the teaching profession. His love for writers and poets such as Pablo Neruda, Leo Tolstoy, Kabir, Adam Gondvi, Gorakh Pandey; playing the Sitar, writing poetry and photographygets reflected in his day to day life.

Paradigm of ‘Champa to Champaran’:

According to a popular belief, Champaran derives its name from Champa, as this area used to be an aranya (forest) of champa trees. Sushil extracted inspiration from this belief and launched the special drive called ‘Champa se Champaran’ on 22nd April 2018 which was inaugurated by Medha Patkar, a renowned social activist.

After this Sushil approached all ward councillors of Motihari town, mukhiyas and representatives of panchayat based outside town. In addition to this schools and coaching centers were also approached for participation in environment based initiative.

Sushil Kumar

Sushil Kumar while talking with Newsd said, “Champa to Champaran is close to my heart as my core aspiration was always to do something constructive for society. It took some time for this realization in which KBC’s platform was the deciding factor. Everyday i go around the town planting champa in every house. Till date, more than 60,000 champa (Plumeria) plants have been planted in Motihari and in its periphery regions.”

Md Imamul Haq, owner of a nursery in Motihari town while talking on Sushil Kumar’s Champa to Champaran said, “This initiative on the environment is really commendable. Our perception matches which is to serve society and its people by doing something for the environment.”

Few days back, a letter of appreciation from the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Harivansh Narayan Singh reached Sushil Kumar on his eco-friendly drive ‘Champa se Champaran’.

Letter of appreciation from the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.

Renowned documentary film maker, resident of Motihari and close friend of Sushil Kumar, Bishwajeet Mukherjee considers Sushil to have a vision for society. He said- After attaining fame as a KBC winner he could have easily drifted towards a virtual world of success rather he paved a path to serve society in a unique manner. It is not necessary to lead a luxurious life (with a car, bunglow, etc) after winning prize money of Rs 5 crore. Aim and ambition of life differs from person to person and a small town like Motihari is proud to have an individual like Sushil Kumar.

Last month Sushil was appointed as ‘Sweep icon’ for East Champaran district of Bihar by the State Election Commission. This was done to increase awareness of society on elections with an aim to increase voting turnout. Besides this, in past, he was the Brand Ambassador of MNREGA.

Exposure of the world of fame did not drive him away from his fundamental understanding of society rather made him learn good and bad aspects.

The life journey of Sushil Kumar is thought provoking with many shades of inspiring imprints. As a common man his efforts to plant Champa across Champaran and to help the oppressed section of masses is a big lesson for upcoming generations to learn. A thorough acknowledgement of Sushil Kumar’s effort is need of the hour.


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