Himani Bundela, a visually impaired math teacher based in Agra, has become the first crorepati of Kaun Banega Crorepati’s Season 13. After being selected from the hot seat by the show’s host Amitabh Bachchan, the 25-year-old went on to answer a series of questions.
After giving the wrong answer to a question worth Rs 7 crore, Himani exited the game but with a Rs 1 crore cash prize. At the end of the episode, she expressed her immense gratitude towards the host and explained how she hopes to use the money to open a special coaching centre to teach divyang (disabled) students.
She said, “A lot of students with disabilities get selected into various schools and colleges. But there is no designated coaching centre or teachers to help them prepare for competitive examinations.”
Here’s her untold story
Born and raised in Agra, Himani watched her first KBC show when she was just nine years old. She would even organise quizzes with her friends and imitate the show. Since then, it has been a dream for her to participate in the show, be on television, and meet Amitabh Bachchan.
However in 2011, when she was 15, Himani lost her vision to an accident.
While she recovered well, for the following six months, she had a tough time accepting her new lifestyle and slipped into a depression. In an interview, she says, “There was never a smile on my face, and those six months were horrible. But I did not lose all hope, my family stood by me and helped me complete my schooling.”
But the challenges did not stop here. When Himani tried to apply for college, she was rejected in various institutions owing to her disability. But, the turning point came when she came across Dr Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University, Lucknow.
She said, “At this institution, students with disabilities and general students would learn together. I got a seat here and met others with disabilities similar to mine. The college and my friends helped me come out of my shell and complete a Bachelor’s degree in Education. Then I got a job at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Agra as a math teacher.”
In 2021, Himani continued to explore her interest to participate in KBC and registered herself for the Season 13 show. When she was selected, she felt like it was a dream come true.
She said, “When I was on the set of KBC, I was both nervous and excited. During the fastest finger competition, my focus was all over the place but I reminded myself of why I was there. It was not only to fulfil my childhood dreams, but also for my family, and to motivate the disabled community.”
This allowed her to focus on giving the right answers, and win a place on the hot seat. She says that it was unreal to meet the star she had idolised from her childhood, but he made her feel comfortable and confident.
At the end of the show, after answering 16 questions, Himani won Rs 1 crore. She said that she will use this money to start a small business for her family.
“My father recently lost his job owing to the pandemic, so I wish to help them achieve financial security.” Apart from this, she also hopes to invest money to start a special coaching centre to train divyang students.