This Friday meet the very first Karamveers of the 12th season of KBC - Krishnavtar Sharma and Rajiv Khandelwal, Founders of Aajeevika Bureau (Founded in 2005), a non-profit organization that works with the migrant workers in Rajasthan, Gujarat & Maharashtra. Aajeevika has adopted a holistic approach for addressing the hardships of labour migration and provide comprehensive solutions for migrants. It provides identity, skilling, legal aid, financial services and health care to migrants.
1. How was your experience being on Kaun Banega Crorepati Season 12?
Krishnavtar Sharma: It has been a wonderful experience for me. Initially, I was very scared to be on the show and talk about the significant work that our team does at such a huge platform. It was a unique experience where we got the chance to showcase our work, how there are many people seeking help, shelter, food, the daily necessities of life. Being on KBC helped us spread the word to help these migrant workers in whichever way possible to complete their needs. I was nervous about the fact that we will be speaking to Mr. Bachchan, who is a superstar, a legend; but when we met him, he made us feel so calm and welcomed. The crewmembers were a great support throughout the time, they guided us at every step.
Rajiv Khandelwal: When we got to know that we had to be on KBC, I was very stressed because I have never been on such a huge platform before. Once we reached the set, I gradually got comfortable and relaxed as the vibe around was very peaceful. While we were interacting with Mr. Bachchan, I felt nervous for sure but within minutes I became so free and light-minded, it was like Mr. Bachchan was a part of our family and relatives. I have grown up watching Amitabh Bachchan’s films and the many characters he has played but when you meet him in person, it is a huge reality check for us as he is so involved in the things we do, have genuine questions like we do, the kind of shows he likes and his interests. He is a very humble man, watching him ask us questions, and the way he simplifies them is commendable and inspiring.
2. How did you come up with the idea of starting this noble work for migrant workers?
Rajiv Khandelwal: It all started 15 years ago, when we saw our district’s group in Rajkot, Gujarat. We were shocked looking at 15-20 people living in a small, congested room, few of them were suffering from Tuberculosis, no signs of medical care, food or other essential things. It was shocking looking at children, the families who have been working for years, had no money, no savings to survive. The whole condition was disturbing. For the first few days we tried to interact with those people as they lived in our village and we knew them, but their living condition was an eye-opener for us. We knew we had to do something about the condition, the fact that we all work for a living but why is that these people are in such bad condition. I still remember having this conversation with my friend, and it has been 15 years now and we still continue to do what we started off as a helping hand. We know we are bringing smiles to many helpless families and children.
Krishnavtar Sharma: In the beginning, it was not easy. We have reached so far but the journey has been difficult, slow in progress, and then we garnered some stability. When we started meeting the migrant workers, we realized that they are in large numbers and travel to other cities for work. Looking at that, we knew we had to think big and on a large scale. Another big difficulty was to reach out to unions who do similar work, make them understand the seriousness of the condition so that they knew that these lives needed attention and that is how our journey started.
3. How will the winning amount be helpful to the cause you are working for?
Rajiv Khandelwal: We are very happy to have won a sizable amount on KBC. This money will be used for migrant workers who have met with accidents and require the medical attention. Secondly, there are many migrant workers live with huge debts, it becomes difficult for them to earn little and manage their daily expense plus pay the debt. So, our immediate objective is to make them debt-free so they can reboot their lives.
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