The people of a small village, Daulatpur, 70kms from Lucknow were given a promise by superstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family. But after 10 years, the promise was unfulfilled and the villagers took the project upon themselves.
Ten years ago, Amitabh Bachchan with his family had visited Daulatpur and had promised to construct a degree college. Mr Bachchan announced that he would construct the ‘Aishwarya Bachchan Degree College’ in Daulatpur. In 2008, the foundation stone of the same was laid with great fanfare in the presence of Samajwadi leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and the entire United National Progress Alliance (UNPA) leadership.
A foundation called Nishitha Foundation was assigned the task of taking this project forward. It was run by the then Samajwadi Party MP and actress Jaya Prada. Within two years, the trust was closed and the responsibilities were transferred to Amitabh Bachchan Seva Sansthan (ABSS) headed by Amit Singh, the then village head.
Even after a decade, the project was incomplete possibly due to changed political equations between the members of UNPA and more specifically, Amar Singh. The trust never showed any interest in completing this project. But the villagers found a solution to this problem: crowdfunding. The villagers built a degree college, just 500 meters away from the actual plot with the help of donations from the villagers.
Satyawan Shukla, a teacher of the same village donated more than 10,000 sq meters of land to construct this project. He sought contributions from the fellow villagers to set this dream into reality. The co-educational college has been christened Daultapur Degree College, affiliated to RML Avadh University, Faizabad, and will open with two courses —BA and BSc.
The Bachchans in 2012 donated Rs 5 lakh to ABSS, for construction of the school. It was renamed as Aishwarya Bachchan Girls’ Inter College for higher secondary students. “This was the first and the last instalment from the Bachchans,” says Amit Singh, secretary of ABSS and also the gram pradhan.
The villagers are happy as their children can study in their village and doesn’t have to travel far away for education. “We wish that Mr Bachchan comes here and sees his dream coming alive. We do not want anything from him except his blessings”, said Rohit Singh, a young student.