A woman wants Rs.20 lakh for her daughter's wedding, a man wants another Rs.20 lakh to meet an emergency, a priest wants donation in return for divine blessings -- Sushil Kumar, whose tryst with KBC has reinforced the middle class's faith in fairy tales, is suddenly being approached by random strangers, demanding a 'small' pie of the Rs.5-crore cake.
Sushil Kumar (left) with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi
Kumar, a small-time computer operator who captured the imagination of one and all by becoming the first to win Rs.5 crore ($972,500) on the game show "Kaun Banega Crorepati", has been approached by dozens of strangers for financial help in the last few weeks.
"People from different places and different backgrounds have been requesting financial help. It is a new thing in my life, people have been expecting charity from me," a softspoken Kumar, 27, told IANS.
He said though helping people in dire need is his motto, "it is not possible for me to help strangers, who have been demanding Rs.5 lakh to Rs.20 lakh as donation for temples, marriage of daughters, construction of house and starting businesses".
Recalling a recent incident, Sushil said a Hindu priest asked him for an obnoxious amount as donation.
"A Hindu priest, locally known as sadhu, did not disclose his name and requested me to deposit the donation money for divine blessings in a bank account given by him. He assured me that I will get a huge bounty from the deity if I donate," Sushil said.
Then a man from Chhattisgarh asked for Rs.20 lakh to meet an emergency expenditure. Interestingly, the man asked for the sum as a loan and assured Kumar the money would be returned after he gets a bank loan.
Kumar said that even an Agra-based activist, Umapati Ambast, demanded help for an old-age shelter while a woman, Kalpana Gopal of Madhya Pradesh, requested Rs.20 lakh for the marriage of her daughter.
And all these requests are pouring in even as he is yet to receive the winning amount.
Speaking to IANS over phone, Kumar says he fails to understand how he can help all of them, particularly strangers.
"I strongly support help to people in need, but can't help every one who approaches me with requests of financial help," he said.
Before becoming a crorepati, Kumar, who hails from East Champaran in Bihar, used to draw a meagre monthly salary of Rs.6,000.
Living in a big joint family -- he has five brothers, five nieces and a nephew -- Kumar himself has many dreams to fulfil from the Rs.5 crore.
"First of all, I would build my new house. Then my younger brother is working with a garment shop and earns merely Rs.1,500 per month, I would help him start a new business so that he gets settled in life. I am also planning to help my elder brother get a new shop," he had said upon winning in the show.
Nevertheless, Kumar has been helping out his relatives and friends to meet their small financial needs. "In the last one month, I have spend a total of Rs.20,000 by helping out people I know. Recently there was a wedding in my area and I extended some help," he said.
Justifying his recent decision to turn down reality show "Bigg Boss", the civil service aspirant said: "It was a right decision. More than anything, my image is important for me. I don't want to do anything that affects my image."
"Had I joined 'Big Boss' and stayed there for some days, it would have changed my mindset and diverted me from my goal," he adds.